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Cumberland commissioners hire interim county manager

Renee Paschal will serve as interim manager following the retirement of Amy Cannon on Dec. 1


The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners on Monday voted to hire an interim county manager who will take over when Amy Cannon retires in December.

Board Chairman Glenn Adams announced the hiring of Renee Fuller Paschal after the board came out of a closed session at the end of Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Assistant County Manager Brian Haney said Paschal will officially start as interim county manager on Dec. 1, which is Cannon’s retirement date. However, Paschal will work with Cannon and county staff in November to prepare for the transition, Haney said. The county will pay her $200 an hour, which includes daily travel expenses.

Paschal retired as manager of Chatham County in 2018. She was county manager from October 1993 through September 2018. From February 2019 until Jun 2021, she worked as a temporary part-time budget director for Harnett County, according to her resume.

Adams said Paschal’s “solid background in finance” played a key role in commissioners choosing her. “It’s one of the things we looked at,” Adams said, adding that the county is getting ready to work on its upcoming budget.

Adams said Paschal is working with Wake County’s budget department on American Rescue Plan funding.

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In other action:

The commissioners approved the renaming of four roads as a result of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s I-295 construction, which severed several county roads. Under county emergency 911 policy, severed and separated roads cannot have the same name. The board held a public hearing for each; however, no one came to speak for or against the renaming.

Residents living on the road had the option of choosing from a list of names provided by the county, according to Rawls Howard, county chief planning director.

The first road was changed from Lake Upchurch Drive to Calabash Drive. The second renaming was for the old portion of Black Ridge Road to Swamp Rose Road.

The third renaming was for a new road built by N.C. DOT. However, residents came up with their own name: Monroe Jackson Lane. 

Finally, the old portion of Old Plank Road was renamed to Impala Drive, a name chosen by staff since residents did not respond.

The board also held a public hearing on the Spring Lake Land Use Plan. However, no one spoke for or against the plan.

According to Rawls Howard, county planning and inspections director, the Joint Planning Board continuously develops and updates land use plans for the entire county and member municipalities. This year-long effort resulted in an updated Spring Lake Land Use Plan, which had not been updated since 2004. He said both county planning staff and area residents were involved in coming up with the plan.

The Cumberland County Joint Planning Board reviewed the plan at its July 19 meeting and unanimously recommended the plan for adoption. The plan also was unanimously adopted by the Spring Lake Board of Alderman at its Aug. 22 meeting.

The plan can be viewed on the Cumberland County Planning & Inspections website.

The board unanimously accepted the land use plan.

The board also approved up to $500,000 of county American Rescue Plan money to put toward pending Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) applicants who did not get their funding before their state funding expired on Sept. 30.

According to Assistant County Manager Heather Skeens, the U.S. Treasury Department notified the county that additional funds would come to the county, but the notification did not provide a timeline for when those funds would be available.

The board also received a briefing from the head of the Cumberland Community Foundation Inc. regarding an overview of the nonprofit agency and its programs. Mary Holmes, president and CEO of the foundation, specifically honed in on the organization's scholarship program.

Adams asked the Cumberland Community Foundation to provide the board with an overview of the foundation and its programs, specifically its Scholarship Program, and the importance of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Community Grants Program, Giving Tuesday, Endowment Management and Community impact.

Jason Brady covers Cumberland County government for CityView. He can be reached at jbrady@cityviewnc.com.

Cumberland County, Board of Commissioners, interim manager, Renee Paschal