Duck to hire search firm for new manager

By on August 26, 2020

Beginning the process of replacing the only town manager that the town has ever had, the Duck Town Council preliminarily reviewed the four firms vying to conduct the search for a new manager at a special Aug. 26, meeting. The council also agreed on a timetable to select a search firm at a Sept. 16 meeting.

The search is being conducted in the aftermath of the July 24 resignation of Town Manager Chris Layton following his July 15 arrest for two counts of assault on his assistant. The council then appointed Joe Heard as interim town manager pending the outcome of a search for a permanent town manager that could be concluded late this year or early in 2021.

During the public discussion of that search at the Aug. 26 meeting, there was no mention of Layton or his resignation, with Kingston referring to an “opening” that occurred for the town manager post.

The four search companies in the running for the Duck contract, along with some key elements of their proposals, were introduced by Kingston. They include Colin Baenzinger & Associates, headquartered in Dayton Beach, FL, which offered a 60 to 90-day time frame for conducting the search and quoted a fixed fee of $26,500. Another firm in the competition is Developmental Associates out of Chapel Hill, which indicated a 65-day process until final selection and quoted a basic fee of $18,500.

The Mercer Group, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, laid out a 120-day timeline for the selection process and a basic fee of $17,500. And Slavin Management Consultants of Norcross, GA, said their work would take 45-60 days to the final report and selection phase and quoted a basic cost of $15,580. (Several of the firms indicated those basic costs could increase during the process.)

After briefly discussing the contenders, the council decided it would set a meeting for Sept. 9 to allow each firm 30 minutes for a presentation and to take questions from council members. A decision to select a winner would then occur a week later.


  • Dave

    More wasted time.
    just make sure you have your pre-meeting meeting before the actual meeting starts or the meeting won’t make any sense.

    Thursday, Aug 27 @ 2:19 pm
  • Frank Soles

    save the money and give it to Joe….he’s as good as they come.

    Thursday, Aug 27 @ 7:54 pm
  • Travis

    Ha ha…Duck wasting more money. Just promote the fire chief. She runs the town anyway.

    Thursday, Aug 27 @ 11:14 pm
  • lippy

    Good one Travis. If the fire chief ran the town it would be in worse shape than it is now. That town council really likes to bury their collective heads in the sand. You have Mayor “hear no evil” and the rest of them ascribe to “see no evil” and if you won’t hear it or see it you cannot get rid of it.

    Saturday, Aug 29 @ 9:01 am
  • Frank Zappa

    Hiring a headhunter firm. What a complete waste of taxpayers money. The Town of Duck has done this before without asking residents. Waste of taxpayers hard earned money just like all the new shiny top of the line police vehicles and toys they get each year and not known by many folks, they use those vehicles for private use and for transportation to their homes and back. Many police, etc don’t even live in Dare County. Taxpayer’s foot their gas bill for private use. The whole Beach Refurbishment program too which millions of dollars were wasted. Someone made money on that deal imo. They’ve gone way overboard on the pedestrian and bike paths too. Duck town council has become their own little beauricratc machine just like Washington DC. Maybe quit wasting money and cut taxes??? Many residents also wonder what kind of severance package was given to the ousted Ex Town Manager too. Sure he got something or is in the process.

    Sunday, Aug 30 @ 7:33 am
  • lippy

    Hey Frank Zappa, you’re right about the police vehicles but did you also know the fire chief and the deputy fire chief get to use their brand new very expensive vehicles 24/7 the fire department also has 3 big nearly $1million dollar fire trucks….really for a small town…doesn’t that sound wasteful too? Did you also know the only firefighter who lives in Duck is the fire chief….most of the paid firefighters live in Hatteras….how are they going to help the community if they are all stranded in Hatteras after a big storm? Sounds like poor planning to me. How does the Town Council let this happen? They bury their heads in the sand. Does any one really think the ex town manager who was the ONLY town manager for 18 years just snapped one day, no his bad behavior was ongoing for years and the council did nothing about it…..shameful. I hope the ex town manager to no money when he left. As far as the town council the mayor and all the long timers need to be voted out next election.

    Sunday, Aug 30 @ 10:53 am
  • Frank Zappa

    Lippy, yeah, you are correct although there are less problems at the Fire Department than in the Duck police and Town of Duck administration. I see Duck PD many time in other towns running personal errands in police vehicles and I have a big issue, along with many others, that police use police cars for transportation to and from personal residences mainly in other counties. Like I said the Town of Duck has become a bureaucracy over the years. The need to listen more to their voters and concerns of waste of tax money. I also wonder what kind of package the Police Chief in Duck received after he high-tailed it back to Connecticut after only 4.5 years on the job. I’m not anti police like some of these so called protesters in the big cities either. Just a concerned taxpayer especially after the recent tax hike.

    Sunday, Aug 30 @ 11:09 pm
  • lippy

    I agree Frank Zappa, and I’m not anti police either however the police should only use the police cars to travel back and forth to work, not run errands. Might I suggest you email your concerns to the town council at the next meeting. That town council needs to hear from concerned taxpayers.

    Tuesday, Sep 1 @ 7:42 am