Closed Door Meeting Held To Discuss Town Manager

Following a 90-minute closed door meeting Tuesday night to discuss the job performance of Selma Town Manager Jon Barlow, the council emerged at 10:00 PM without taking any action.

Selma Town Manager Jon Barlow
Selma Town Manager Jon Barlow

Barlow was hired in January 2014. As part of his seven page employment contract he was required to relocate to the Town of Selma before July 2014. Barlow failed to meet the deadline and was granted a six month extension.     

In January 2015, Barlow survived a 3-to-2 council vote to be fired. At the same meeting, Barlow’s living arrangements were again questioned. Officials said he had rented an apartment in Selma two weeks earlier, but his family was still living at their home in Wake County.

In February 2016, Councilman Tommy Holmes confirmed to WTSB News that the town manager was no longer living in Selma and felt Barlow had voided his contract by moving.

In a phone interview last month, Barlow said he was renting an apartment in Selma but declined to say if he was living in the apartment. He asked to be quoted on a statement saying, “At some point we all have to make decisions about balancing careers and family and I am comfortable with the choices I have made.”  

Barlow makes $92,920 as the town manager.  He also received health, disability and life insurance benefits, vacation and sick leave, and access to a town vehicle for travel.  There was no discussion after the closed session if he would receive any additional compensation.

Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver
Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver

In an email on Wednesday, Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver declined to say if Barlow’s living arrangements were discussed during the closed session.  Oliver said, “…we will be having further discussions regarding building a strong relationship between Council and our Town Manager.”

Mayor Oliver said she believes the manager is doing a good job. “I do believe Jon has been instrumental in putting Selma on a firmer foundation.  He has provided guidance in how to make our utility funds self-supporting, initiated the updating of many key town documents that will guide our future development, established a good working relationship with the Local Government Commission, reorganized our staff to promote efficiency and effectiveness, and obtained grants for major infrastructure initiatives. 

Mayor Oliver declined to answer where the town manager was living.