Assistant city manager Shawn Purvis has been tapped as interim city manager, to manage day-to-day operations while the city searches for John Connet’s successor.
Connet, who has served as Clinton’s city manager since July 2002, accepted the manager post for the City of Hendersonville last month, beating out 85 other applicants for the position. He will serve his last day as Clinton’s manager on May 24 and begin in the Hendersonville capacity May 28.
Connet’s right-hand man for the past five years, Purvis was tapped to serve as interim manager during a City Council budget work session Tuesday night. Purvis thanked Mayor Lew Starling and the City Council for the opportunity at the meeting.
On Wednesday, he said he looked forward to serving in the interim capacity as the city searched for its next manager. He conceded there would be a tremendous void with Connet’s departure.
“While I am excited about the interim manager opportunity, I know I have some big shoes to fill,” said Purvis. “I am fortunate to have worked with a great mentor and build positive relationships with Mayor Starling, City Council and staff over the past five years.”
Purvis has been assistant city manager for Clinton since 2008. In 2011, he also assumed the role of finance director. He and wife Sara are both originally from Wilmington. They have two children, Joshua and Anna.
Before coming to Clinton, he interned with the Town of Hillsborough and the North Carolina League of Municipalities. Purvis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and his Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Additionally, Purvis is a member of the International City/County Manager Association, the North Carolina City/County Manager Association and the Government Finance Officers Association. Purvis has received the GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting, for three consecutive years.
The move to interim city manager will bring with it a shift in Purvis’ day-to-day. As assistant manager, Purvis has dealt with detailed tasks and projects with some “big-picture focuses.”
“In the interim role, I will be predominantly involved with the overall mission and big-picture perspective of the city and the organization as directed by citizens and Council,” said Purvis. “It will be a lot more direct communication with the Mayor, Council and citizens. I do some of those things now but more will be required in the interim role.”
The City Council approved hiring executive search firm Springsted to assist with the recruitment and selection of a new city manager during last week’s regular meeting, Connet’s final one at the helm. The Council has not set a definitive timeline for the hiring process at this point, but is expected to iron out the details of the process in the next couple of weeks.
Purvis said he hopes to serve Clinton well during the transition.
“I am looking forward to the challenge and hope to continue the success Clinton has had while Council seeks the city’s next manager.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.