JONESVILLE — At the end of the Jonesville Town Council meeting Monday, Scott Buffkin, town manager, announced he will be leaving his local post to take on the role of town manager in Clemmons.
“I don’t want to go, the folks here have been so good to me,” Buffkin said Thursday morning of his decision. “But it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn away from.”
The town manager of Clemmons is retiring, Buffkin explained, and when he saw the posting for the job in November, he couldn’t resist the chance to apply.
Buffkin met with the Clemmons town board around the end of November or first of December, and then things have been going back and forth between he and the board since then. “They had made a tentative decision about two weeks ago, and then I had to go through a background check process before it was made official,” he said.
The Clemmons board announced the hiring of Buffkin Monday night during its meeting, almost simultaneously with Buffkin’s announcement in Jonesville.
“I agreed to help the folks here to recruit someone to fill the position after I’m gone,” said Buffkin of his assistance in Jonesville. “They would like to move forward with that as quickly as possible, and I’ve worked on a job advertisement I would like to get posted in the next few days.”
Buffkin’s first day in Clemmons will be March 1, so he will continue to serve Jonesville through most of February to help the town council with its recruitment of a new manager as well as see it through several ongoing projects.
As he looks toward a job in a town of 22,000 population, there are two key projects Buffkin said he was proud to play a part of while in Jonesville.
“The first thing that comes to mind, when I came back here to work in 2007, because I had worked here a couple of years in the ’90s, they had just started work on the town hall and visitors center project. I got to see it through the construction phase and be one of its first occupants, and now we see what an asset it is to the community,” Buffkin said.
“The second will be the remake of our water plant, which was finished about five years ago. The old plant was in pretty bad shape, and it was a situation we had to do something about. We worked with a good engineering company and used an innovative process for a small footprint and built a new plant that will be an asset to the town for decades to come.”
He said the new manager hired for Jonesville will certainly have other challenges to face, from finding a long-term home for the library, to what to do with the old town hall building.
“Ideally they’d like to have someone who could work with me for at least a small period of time, but that may not be possible if they choose someone working somewhere else who has to work out a notice,” Buffkin said of the Jonesville council members.
Buffkin’s new role in Clemmons will be one with much larger responsibilities, he explained. “It will be a big responsibility in a large community, but I think it will be a rewarding one. They have a lot going on, and I’ve been spending some time with the retiring manager. It’s a lot to grasp in a short amount of time.”
While Buffkin has kept his residency in the city of King during his time at Jonesville, he and his wife will be relocating to Clemmons within 12 months of his taking the new position, as is required by that town board. He initially stayed in King to allow his son to finish out public school there, and now he is a sophomore in college in Charlotte.
The new position for Buffkin takes him from a town with a population of about 2,300 to one of roughly 22,000, and a salary increase from $68,000 in Jonesville to $101,000 in Clemmons.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.