HAMLET — The search for a new city manager is underway following the resignation of Marcus Abernethy.
In a letter dated Sept. 14, Abernethy tendered his resignation citing a “a major promotional opportunity achieved by my spouse,” adding that the family will be relocating to another community.
“It has been a distinct honor serving you and working with staff for the betterment of our community,” he said in the letter. “Since my tenure began two years ago, we have overcome many challenges and obstacles facing our city, and with the help of your leadership, we will all continue to see blessings in the years to come.
“I want you to know I have enjoyed serving this community which I love,” he continued. “I have developed a high level of respect and admiration for you, staff and citizens. I am supremely grateful for having the opportunity to work with such a professional staff who are focused on providing residents with the best services possible.”
Abernethy was hired in October of 2014 as a replacement for Marchell David, who resigned after serving as city manager of Hamlet for 21 years upon accepting an assistant city manager of community position in Raleigh.
Before coming to Hamlet, Abernethy had served as a city management intern for Lenoir and a town management assistant in Matthews.
“The most important role was when I interned in Lenoir,” Abernethy said when he accepted the job in Hamlet. “I dedicated a lot of my time learning what it takes to run a city. I rode on the backs of sanitation trucks. I worked 24-hour shifts with the police department. There’s so much that goes on to keep a city going that most people aren’t aware of. When you turn on the water faucet and water just magically comes out, that’s because of people working to make that happen. Or when I would take my garbage to the street in the morning, and I’d get home to find it was just gone — that’s no accident. There is organization to everything that makes a city work, and that is what I’m passionate about.”
At the age of 24, the young administrator immediately had several department head positions to fill, including police chief.
“He put the right people in the right place,” said Mayor Bill Bayless. “We’re sorry to see him leave, but understand his reason. He’s made great improvements in the operation of the city.”
Bayless said Abernethy came in with new ideas, which he liked, adding “we’re hoping for the best when we replace him.”
According to the job listing, the hiring range for the position is $60,000 to $80,000 per year.
An initial review of applications will be Oct. 17.
Abernethy’s last day is Dec. 16.
“Having this position has benefited me greatly and brought me experiences that may not have otherwise been possible,” he concluded in his resignation letter. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working for you and will miss you all dearly.”