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Mills River hires familiar face as interim manager

Lee Galloway, who served as Hendersonville's interim city manager, has been hired to serve the same role in Mills River. Lee Galloway, who served as Hendersonville's interim city manager, has been hired to serve the same role in Mills River.

MILLS RIVER — The Mills River Town Council has hired an interim manager to take over administration when Jaime Laughter departs for her new job as Transylvania County manager, and has also settled on a search firm to find her full-time replacement.

 

A familar face who already served a five-month stint as Hendersonville's interim city manager, Lee Galloway knows the area and other local government officials, said Mayor Larry Freeman. A Brevard native and graduate of UNC at Chapel Hill, Galloway served the last 18 years in his 30-year municipal government career as Waynesville's town manager, winning several honors for his leadership.

In another connection to Henderson County, Galloway served as a mentor for five years in Waynesville to Alison Melnikova, who was hired as Laurel Park's town manager last November.

The Mills River Town Council also has agreed to retain the executive search firm Developmental Associates of Chapel Hill to recruit and screen candidates for the Mills River town manager job, Freeman said.

The firm has signficant experience in recent moves involving Henderson County administrators. It recruited then Hendersonville City Manager Bo Ferguson as Durham's deputy city manager, worked for the Hendersonville City Council when it hired John Connet and had the headhunter role for Transylvania County when it hired Laughter. Its founder and president is Steve Straus, a Brevard native and descendant of Ecusta Paper Mill founder Harry Straus. The Town Council is expected to approve a contract with the search firm at its regular board meeting next week.