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Town of Clayton Transitions to New Leadership

08/28/2020

The Clayton Town Council voted this morning to accept the resignation of Town Manager Adam Lindsay and appoint a new interim manager. Clayton has only had two managers in the past 23 years and Lindsay served for the past four, a time of tremendous growth for the town. His tenure started with Hurricane Matthew and ended in the middle of a global pandemic, and the Mayor says what he accomplished in between laid the foundation for a stronger future. 

“Adam set Clayton up to transition from a small town to a mid-size town and that came with many changes and challenges,” said Mayor Jody McLeod. “During Adam’s tenure more than $3 Billion in biopharma investments were announced or under construction, more than doubling Clayton’s industrial employment to over 3,200 high-quality, well-paying jobs. He oversaw the completion of an innovative large-scale public-private partnership to build a $40 million regional wastewater pretreatment plant that will be a regional economic driver. He established the first Economic Development Office, oversaw the overwhelming voter approval of a Parks Bond referendum, and strengthened the town’s long-range planning approach by updating and funding capital projects. I'm truly grateful for his positive impact on my hometown.”  

The Town will now turn to JD Solomon, a 30-year resident who has worked as a consultant for Clayton for many years on a wide range of management, engineering and planning projects, and who is currently serving as the manager of the biggest capital project in the town’s history – a new wastewater treatment plant. For the next six months, he’ll not only keep that critical project on track, but he’ll be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Town, assessing and making any short-term improvements. He worked for two Fortune 500 companies, where he specialized in helping small towns to cities like Atlanta and New Orleans with strategic planning, organizational assessments, succession planning, financial management and infrastructure improvements. 

“Today, we’ve made a significant decision and investment in the future of Clayton,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jason Thompson. “The Council is committed to hiring a consultant for a reorganization, so we can finally update our small-town structure into one that will make us more efficient and better prepared to handle the accelerated growth Clayton is experiencing. We also need someone to oversee the building of our $120 million wastewater plant and we need a town manager. We believe we’ve found an extremely talented man who can fill all three of those roles.”

The Town will end its contract with Solomon’s firm and he will become a temporary full-time Town employee as the Interim Town Manager, effective September 1, 2020.  

“Clayton is my home and where I am already playing a key role,” said Solomon, who holds a Professional Certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and a degree in Civil Engineering from NC State. “The wastewater program and the normal operations of the Town are closely linked over the next couple of years.  I will step up and make sure we continue to move forward on all fronts until we get the new manager in place.” 

Mayor Jody McLeod did add a clarification at the end of the special meeting: “This vote is coming right on the heels of the cluster of COVID cases impacting our Fire Department and it's natural for people to assume they're related. But I think I can speak for the rest of the Council in saying that had nothing to do with this decision. The fire department HAS and continues to do EVERYTHING they can to keep themselves healthy and continue to serve our community. We thank the community for its continued prayers and support for those firefighters and their families."


 

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