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Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

LANDIS — Landis town officials have narrowed the search for a new town manager to five candidates, and expect a decision to be made within a month’s time.

The town has held two closed session meetings to discuss the candidates. On Feb. 9, the board met to assess 12 applications, and five candidates were interviewed March 1 from 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Interim Town Manager Leonard Barefoot said he is currently awaiting direction from town aldermen, with another closed session expected soon. The town expects a decision within the next month.

Though the salary will depend on the chosen candidate’s qualifications, Barefoot said the town budgeted up to $100,000 for the new manager’s salary. Former town manager Roger Hosey’s yearly salary was $87,000.

Barefoot said the town is looking to hire someone who will move the town forward, be part of the community and deliver some stability given the turmoil in recent years.

Barefoot was hired in January 2020 to serve as the interim town manager following the termination of Hosey. Barefoot, of China Grove, retired in 2007 as the manager of Sanford after 14 years and has since served as an interim town manager in multiple cities.

“It’s a process, and it’s my job to help them through,” Barefoot said.

Mayor Meredith Smith said the town is looking for someone who’s enthusiastic to work with local citizens and town administration and someone who will “hopefully fall in love with the town like we have.”

Smith added that she’s enjoyed conducting the hiring process as a board, which has been interactive and has provided the opportunity to get to know each candidate better.

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