Locust City Council reorganizes its governmental structure
Published 5:17 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2023
The Locust City Council decided at its regular meeting June 8 to reorganize the city’s government structure.
Locust will move from a Mayor-Council form of government to a Council-Manager form.
In the previous form, the mayor was elected every two years while the seven-member council was elected in staggered terms every four years. The mayor, according to an email from City Administrator Cesar Corera, had a limited ceremonial role while the council made policy.
In the charter, the city council “may create and fill, by appointment, positions deemed necessary for the efficient administration of the city’s affairs. The council may also appoint a person to supervise all city departments and delegate to them the power of appointing and removing department heads and employees.”
Therefore, the City Council appointed a city administrator, giving powers to that role at the council’s discretion. Correa was hired Sept. 1, 2016, in that role.
As of July 1, the Council-Manager form will be used. Council still retains the discretion to hire a professional manager who, according to the email, “will manage day-to-day operations. The switch to this form of government represents the council’s commitment to a professional manager and appointing an individual who brings expertise in administration, finance, and public management. This ensures that decisions are based on sound managerial practices and specialized knowledge, leading to efficient and effective governance.”
Correa’s title July 1 will change to city manager and his duties are defined by N.C. General Statutes. According to the statute, responsibilities include appointing city employees who are not elected, supervising the city’s departments, preparing the annual budget and making financial and administrative reports available to the public.
Correa also noted in the new form, the City Council “retains the authority to assign additional duties to Mr. Correa as they see fit. Additionally, the council retains the authority to appoint and remove the city attorney, city clerk, and chief of police.”