Graham’s city council meeting was thrown a curve ball Tuesday night when councilman Chip Turner suggested that the council should consider offering a two-year contract to interim city manager Aaron Holland to serve as city manager.
Holland had been the assistant city manager since 2015. He was elevated to the interim role after the January announcement by then-city manager Frankie Maness that he was leaving to assume the position of county manager in Montgomery County.
Holland also had an earlier stint with the city, serving between 2007-2012 as the city’s planner. In between, Holland served as city planner for nearby Roxboro in Person County.
Turner did not reveal the terms he has in mind for such a contract, nor the salary. Back in February, the council set Holland’s interim salary at $120,000, an almost $8,000 raise from his assistant manager’s salary of $112,005.
Most council members have been publicly supportive of elevating Holland to the top post, but he has demurred. Councilmen say he sees the potential for time-consuming conflicts with being the top administrator for the city – handling potential crises at all times of the day, night, and on weekends – as a potential conflict with his role as the father of two young children.
Unable to convince Holland to accept the promotion, Graham mayor Jerry Peterman set in motion last month an application process for a new city manager.
Holland told the council Tuesday night that there had been about 34-35 applicants for the position; the deadline for applying passed earlier this week.
Holland told the council he is assembling the data from the applicants for council review.
After Turner’s proposal, Peterman suggested to the council members that they renew their discussion about how to proceed on filling the city manager’s position at the council’s next meeting, on August 10.