Elkin’s new town manager will be a familiar face for many in the area, and a person with knowledge of the town and experience in the town manager seat, albeit on temporary occasions.
Finance Officer John Holcomb, who has been serving as interim town manager since former manager Lloyd Payne left for another city, Monday night following a closed session of the town commissioners was hired effective immediately as the town’s new manager.
“He’s done the job when the last manager was deployed overseas and between managers,” said Mayor Lestine Hutchens Tuesday morning when announcing the selection of the board. “He’s been considering it for a while, and last night agreed to do both the town manager role and finance officer while he reorganizes the finance office.
“It is so good to have someone with 16 years’ experience with Elkin. There is no training, no learning curve,” said Hutchens.
Holcomb has served the town in various capacities since June 21, 1999, and was previously assistant town manager and finance officer. He was interim town manager during the town’s search for a new manager and has served as interim manager on four separate occasions.
His salary will be the same as Payne was making when he left Elkin, $83,800, while he does two jobs, and then he will be up for review in six months, Hutchens said. “John is a certified public accountant and his credentials are up to date. He has a lot of education in public administration, so we are extremely lucky to have someone with his experience.”
The new manager has attended several professional development courses through the University of North Carolina School of Government such as the municipal administration course graduating in 2002 and the Public Executive Leadership Academy graduating in 2011. He also is a graduate of the Rural Economic Development Institute in 2005.
Holcomb grew up in Jonesville, and his dad served Jonesville as town clerk for 20 years, said the mayor of Holcomb’s ties to the area. “He will be a good fit for us and the employees, and we’re excited to have him.”
Three other employees help with finance office duties, Hutchens said of those helping with those roles for the town. “He’s very protective of the finance area, and will be reorganizing that department,” she said. “He is a naturally conservative person, so he takes care of the town.
“It will mean a great deal to the town to have this continuity,” Hutchens continued. “The employees know him well and respect him. He’s worked in industry and CPA firms, and he came home to help take care of his grandparents and parents.
“He’s a local boy, and this is where he wants to live. We’re pleased with the selection,” she said.
Holcomb is a graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone and the son of JoAnn Holcomb of Jonesville and the late Wesley Holcomb.
A press release from the board stated, “The town board is confident Mr. Holcomb will bring leadership and experience to continue the visions and plans for the future of our town while preserving its past. Mr. Holcomb looks forward to the opportunity to lead the town of Elkin in its day-to-day operations by working with the town board of commissioners, town staff and town citizens to keep Elkin ‘the best little town in North Carolina.’”
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.