Chapel Hill town manager: ‘I have accomplished the goals I was asked to achieve’

Editor’s note: Chapel Hill Town Manager Roger Stancil announced his retirement Wednesday with this letter to Mayor Pam Hemminger and the Town Council.

In October, I received my 45-year service award from the International City Management Association. I came to Chapel Hill in 2006 and committed to five to seven years as manager. In September of this year, I will have been here 12 years, and I believe I have accomplished the goals I was asked to achieve. The town is in good shape for the future, and I am ready to begin another chapter in my life. There is never a good time for a manager to plan to retire, but there seem to be some reasons why this would be a good time:

▪ When I was hired, a major goal of the Council was leadership development for the town staff. I believe our staff leadership is strong, with a growing spirit of innovation and collaboration. It is likely time for me to get out of the way so they can fly even higher.

▪ Another major goal was reframing the town’s relationship with the university from adversarial to collaborative. I believe today we have an excellent working relationship with the university.

▪ The town’s core services are excellent and appreciated by our community as evidenced in our biennial community survey. We have an ongoing commitment to improve our administrative processes and our response to our community in providing services to all.

▪ I promised to create a town organizational chart that reflected the town’s priorities. With the establishment of the executive directors for Housing and Community, Technology, Community Safety and Community Arts and Culture, along with our focus on team problem solving, I believe we have begun down that path. Together with the strategic framework we are building with the mayor and council, we will increasingly connect our strategic community interests with our resource allocation.

▪ We wrote and adopted our organizational values and use them for decision-making and feedback. We wrote a new personnel ordinance, created an ombuds office and changed the way we resolve workplace differences in our Values based organization.

▪ Through a difficult recession, we maintained our core services, remained committed to our employees and maintained our AAA bond rating and long record of annual audits with an unqualified opinion. The town is financially strong.

We are actively addressing our affordable housing challenge with our community partners and an excellent town staff to define the need, set targets, identify investments needed and measure our success.

I have enjoyed my time working with the Town of Chapel Hill. I want to give ample notice of my retirement to facilitate a smooth transition. I will be working with the mayor and Town Council to accomplish that goal over the coming year.

I am grateful for all the support I have received over the years, and I am confident Chapel Hill will continue to be a place where people thrive with connections, choices and community.

Roger L. Stancil is Chapel Hill’s town manager.