Former Carolina Beach town manager cites ‘political dynamics’ following termination

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Carolina Beach is looking for a new town manager.

On Tuesday night, Carolina Beach Town Council terminated the employment contract with Town Manager Lucky Narain during their meeting.

Earlier this week, the town’s Police Advisory Committee had accused the Narain of lying to a police department candidate. Narain later fired back in defense, refuting their claims.

Narain did not attend Tuesday night’s council meeting.

He provided the following statement:

“Hi, my name is Lucky Narain. Most recently I served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina. As a Town Manager and a public servant, I was dedicated to doing the best I could to benefit the public, manage a staff approximately 120 employees, and oversee a near 25 million dollar budget. Sometimes the vision of those individuals who appoint us into office change. Sometimes political dynamics create riptides. It’s all part of the process and the profession.
There was no failure here. No laws were broken. No deadlines were missed. No policies were violated. The budget was still in process and was on a positive track. Various Council Members told me so and it was clear from the Council meeting a couple of weeks ago that we were extremely close to passing a budget. With the proposed budget no money was allocated to be taken away from the General Fund to pass the budget, as in years prior to my arrival. In fact, the Council was still deciding on very few elements to refine the balanced budget. These elements included, for example, presenting me the exact amounts for employee compensation (COLA/merit percentages) and how much to return into the General Fund.
At issue were political dynamics. Specifically, the dynamics involved in addressing concerns with a police department that has experienced tremendous difficulties in recent years. These were present long before I joined the Town. My short tenure was not enough to make the positive difference I had hoped for. For example, I participated in the comprehensive selection process to fill numerous police officer vacancies. We chose to recruit four superiorly qualified candidates. Unfortunately, from a lesser qualified candidate I experienced harassment, slander, and a negative media campaign that I imagine Town Council was not able to ignore.
Serving on the Town Council is a tremendous responsibility and I have grown fond of the Council. I have come to value and respect their drive, determination, and passion for public service. I applaud them for the work they do and empathize with the pressures they deal with and the riptides they navigate through.
To the extent that I am able to assist the Town of Carolina Beach in the future, I look forward to doing so.”

The Town of Carolina Beach hired Narain in January. He started in late February. He took over as town manager after Michael Cramer was fired in September.

Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin will serve as interim manager until a replacement can be hired.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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