After a lengthy executive session Tuesday night during Hamlet’s monthly public meeting Hamlet mayor and town council offered City Manager Marchelle David a employment contract with a raise.
Details of the contract were not released to The Daily Journal on Wednesday. Mayor Jeff Smart said the document would become public information once all sides had signed off on it. The contract was submitted to David, who, Smart said, was reviewing it early Wednesday afternoon.
“We came back in open session after the closed session and council voted to give her a raise and to reach an employee agreement,” Smart said.
When Smart spoke to The Daily Journal early Wednesday afternoon, he said that he hoped she would sign the contract by the end of that day.
“It is finished but the final details have to be agreed upon by both parties,” Smart said.
Attempts to reach David by phone and email before deadline were unsuccessful.
Councilman Pat Preslar, when contacted, said he was unable to speak due to an urgent personal matter. Councilman Dewey Brower also could not be reached for comment. The Journal left several messages for Dewey Brower, a councilman, but there was no response from him prior to deadline.
Earlier this week, Preslar said there are benefits to offering David a contract. He said David’s employment should not be based on the whims of an elected body. Current elected officials in Hamlet have expressed concern that they could be voted out in November’s general election. If that happens, they fear, a new majority could relieve David, a 20-year city employee, of her duties. David has been city manager since 2001.
David drew fire a year ago when she relieved former police chief John Haywood of his duties. Haywood spoke at length during the public comment period of Tuesday’s meeting, during which he made an appeal to retain his honor and integrity. Haywood’s presence seemed to be supported by a majority of those in the crowd of a packed city hall.
— Staff Writer Iris Hunter can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.