Locust eyes change in government form

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The Locust City Council approved a resolution last week aimed at altering the city’s form of government from mayor-council to council-manager.

The main discernible difference is Cesar Correa would be considered a city manager as opposed to his current title of city administrator.

A draft of the text change to the city charter will be presented to the council during its meeting May 11. A public hearing will also be scheduled during the meeting. The proposed changes would then most likely be adopted during council’s June 8 meeting.

Correa has been city administrator since September 2016, according to his LinkedIn page. Prior to his time in Locust, he was the assistant township administrator for the New Jersey township of Maplewood.

“It’s essentially, to be honest with you, to reward Cesar for the great job he has done for us,” said Councilman Harry Fletcher, who introduced the resolution. He added council-manager will give “a little bit more official authority” for Correa.

Having managed the operations of the city for seven years, including overseeing six departments, and obtaining numerous certifications, “I think this may be a difference in terminology but it really does reflect more highly his position with the city,” said Mayor Steve Huber.

“Locust City Council has always been supportive of my professional development and membership with both the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the NC City/County Management Association (NCCCMA),” Correa said in emailed comments to the SNAP. “I am proud to work for a governing board that is committed to effective, transparent, responsive, and accountable government.”

Council-Manager is the most common form of government across the country, including in North Carolina. The vast majority of N.C. cities with populations exceeding 2,500 have this form of government, while many smaller communities tend to favor mayor-council form, according to the UNC School of Government.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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