REDBANKISTAN — You laugh, but Red Bank is serious—it apparently wants no city manager who is actually qualified to run the city. Or at least that would appear to be the case.
Underneath the chuckle-inducing headline, “Red Bank Commissioners Wonder Why Prominent NC Official Wants To Tackle Its Problems,” The Chattanoongan website reported on a recent inquisition by city commissioners who repeatedly probed city manager candidate Randall Hemann on why he would want to leave his post as a “highly successful North Carolina downtown development leader” in Salisbury, N.C., for…Red Bank.
“I’m not putting our city down,” said Commissioner Ruth Janow, who procedeed to do just that, asking, “but I am really curious why you would be willing to leave Salisbury for Red Bank.”
Indeed, Janow and fellow Commissioner John Roberts proceeded to almost discourage Hemann on the idea of taking the job, noting Red Bank’s lack of historic buildings, a police department in chaos and its rundown homes. “You are a well-respected man,” Roberts noted, as if by taking the position his career might be in jeopardy.
It well might. All these low points and more—the commissioners seem to be insistent that the next city manager actually live in Red Bank (the last two did not)—confront the city’s next manager, and job security is apparently not among the perks of the job. Although Chris Dorsey, Red Bank’s last city manager, lasted six years in the role, he was unceremoniously axed in the final minutes of an October commission meeting.
Seemingly unbothered by the career-shattering tempest in a teapot that awaited him if he were hired, Hemann politely invoked a higher authority, noting, “We want to be where God intends for us to be. It will be a matter of prayer.”