SELLERSBURG — The Sellersburg Town Council is finalizing the hire of its first town manager, a move one official says will bring the town up to speed with growth in neighboring municipalities.
At its regular meeting Monday, the Sellersburg Town Council unanimously approved the appointment of Charlie Smith, current CEO of the Building and Development Association of Southern Indiana, to serve as its first town manager.
Pending final matters such as his background check and contract negotiation, Smith is expected to step into the role in mid-February. The Jeffersonville resident was selected from among more than 65 applicants, some of whom came from out of state. The council whittled those candidates down to 10, then three, who were interviewed last Friday.
Town council president Brad Amos said creating the position is something he feels has been needed for a long time to spur growth in the town. He said he approached the previous council with it about three years ago, but it didn’t come to fruition until recently.
“We were looking for someone with local ties, local experience and local knowledge, and we had that in all three of our [final] applicants,” Amos said.
“At the end of the day, the council came to the decision that Charlie Smith was the best candidate to move Sellersburg forward. I think he’s going to bring a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of opportunities with his knowledge.”
A job description approved by the former council — Amos is the only returning board member this term — in late November was sent out near the start of the year. It notes that the position will act as CEO of the town, devoting “their best efforts and full business time, attention, skill and energies to the business affairs of the town and its related or affiliated entities.”
It also includes as requirements a thorough knowledge of public administration, personnel, financial and public sector management, knowledge of local and state laws and the ability to creatively solve town issues. Education requirements are a bachelor’s degree in public administration with a master’s degree preferred, or equivalent experience and education.
The town manager will directly supervise all appointed staff and departments except the police department, town council, clerk and treasurer; the council oversees the operations of the town manager.
Although contract negotiations are not finalized, the Sellersburg Town Council previously approved a salary range of between $60,000 and $100,000 for the position.
Smith said his past six years serving as CEO for the Building and Development Association of Southern Indiana has given him considerable experience in local ordinances, state laws, drafting comprehensive plans, zoning updates and economic development projects.
Prior to that, he managed purchasing retail operations and marketing at PC Lumber in Sellersburg for five years, a role which he said helped him get to know the town and its residents.
“I’m really excited for the town,” Smith said. “It’s a very unique community here in the region and I think there’s a lot of good opportunity to move forward.”
He said he feels this new council may have a different perspective than previous officials.
They recognize they’re going to need maybe some investment in the town, but also recognize there’s been some growth in some of the surrounding communities that Sellersburg has not been a part of,” he said. “That’s one of the things I hope to be able to solidify with them and help them achieve.”