Hardeeville City Council on Wednesday picked a new acting city manager, the latest in a succession of leaders in recent years.
Council unanimously appointed Carey Smith, who recently retired after eight years as city manager of Rock Hill, as acting city manager for four to five months while they search for a new manager. He'll earn $40,000 to $45,000, said Mayor Bronco Bostick.
Smith on Saturday will replace city attorney David Tedder, who stepped in as acting manager after interim manager and finance director Dennis Averkin left for a job in Walterboro late last month.
Averkin lasted in the post less than a month. He took over after Ted Felder abruptly resigned in January.
Smith, who also was city manager of Daytona Beach, Fla., for about eight years, will not be a candidate for Hardeeville's permanent job, Bostick said.
Bostick said he hopes Smith will help city government run more smoothly.
"We're making some progress in moving the city forward," Bostick said.
Smith was selected after an application process aided by the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
Smith perhaps will have a bit more job security than his predecessors. He requested his contract include a clause requiring that four of five council members -- rather than the usual three -- must agree to remove him, Bostick said.
Several council members said they were attracted to Smith's experience and will look for more of the same in the permanent manager.
The city's past two managers, Felder and Kevin Griffin, were both first-time city managers who were promoted from within city government.
A seasoned manager would help the council as it deals with complex issues, such as RiverPort, a large development proposed near the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, said City Councilwoman Sherry Carroll.
"We really need somebody that's experienced to give us good advice," Carroll said. "There's a lot of big decisions that are probably going to be made in the next two to four years."
Carroll said she hopes the full council will support the city's new manager.
"We're going to work very hard to get someone everybody can work with," she said.
Felder came to the city as economic development director in 2007 and was named interim city manager in November 2009 after Griffin resigned.
Griffin, who worked in the planning department, succeeded Shane Haynes, who had run the city for more than five years before resigning in 2008.