SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) –- The Southport Board of Aldermen held a special session Wednesday night to discuss potential replacements for City Manager Pat Thomas, and it appears they have already swung and missed on one candidate.
When Thomas announced last Friday that he would resign from his position, it caught many within the city government by surprise.
"We really regret that Mr. Thomas has elected to resign, because he is a great city manager," Mayor Robert Howardsaid. "We are very proud that he chose Southport, and we chose him, and we're going to miss him."
The Board of Aldermen thought they had a ready-made replacement for Thomas in City Clerk Regina Alexander due to her past experience as interim city manager.
"With unanimous consent, we offered the position to City Clerk Regina Alexander, and she felt like we needed to consider someone else, but she will be with us leading us hand to hand," Howard said.
In his letter of resignation Thomas said, "I have found the framework and process of municipal government in Southport to be significantly different than anticipated in a council-manager jurisdiction. This has made it difficult for me to realize the degree of satisfaction and accomplishment from my work that I desire, based on my professional background and abilities."
Still Mayor Howard says that to keep the city's initiatives moving forward, the next city manager needs to have similar qualities to Thomas.
"We've had good success over time, for the most part, with our city managers, and we could say that Mr. Thomas met all of those criteria," Howard said.
The City of Southport will post the city manager job in the coming days.
We tried to speak with Thomas at the meeting, but he declined an interview.