The living arrangements of a Johnston County town manager is drawing scrutiny from one of his board members.
Selma Town Manager Jon Barlow was hired in January 2014. As part of his seven page contract, Barlow was required to locate to the Town of Selma before July 2014. Barlow failed to meet that deadline and was granted a six month extension.
WTSB News has learned his living arrangements are now being questioned by some members of the Selma Town Council who will be conducting Barlow’s yearly review during a closed session next month.
Councilman Tommy Holmes says he learned last month Barlow had moved from town and immediately notified Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver. “She didn’t know,” Holmes said, “until I called.”
Holmes said he questioned why Barlow did not notify the mayor or town board members but he hasn’t gotten an answer. Holmes said Barlow’s contract is clear, that he must living within town limits. “As far as I am concerned, he broke the contract and he needs to go down the road. It is enough to terminate his job. If you try and keep something like that from the council what else are you keeping from them? It’s time to make a change.”
Holmes said while Barlow did rent an apartment in 2014, his wife or children never moved to Selma. “He said he didn’t want his wife to move then.”
JoCoReport.com reached out to the town manager for a comment. Barlow said he was unaware of any issue surrounding his living arrangements but did confirm, “I do have an apartment here.” When asked specifically if he was living in the apartment, Barlow declined to comment.
Barlow then asked to be quoted on a statement. “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. Barlow had been the town manager in Fuquay Varina before accepting the job in Selma two years ago.
In January 2015, Barlow narrowly avoided being fired after the council voted 3-to-2 for his removal. At the 2015 meeting, the council discussed his living arrangements, and noted he had moved to Selma just 2 weeks prior but his family continued to stay in Wake County.
“If Selma is not good enough for his family, then he is not good enough to work here,” Councilman Holmes told JoCoReport.com following the 2015 meeting and failed vote for his removal.