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Mills River hires Brevard planner as town manager

Daniel Cobb Daniel Cobb

In a broad search for a town manager, Mills River leaders found their candidate close to home.

The Town Council on Thursday agreed to hire Daniel Cobb, Brevard's director of planning, as the fourth manager in the town's 16-year history. The town used Chapel Hill-based Developmental Associates to guide the search process.

"We had 60 applicants from across the country and in the process of narrowing them down, Daniel stood out," interim Town Manager Mark Burrows said. The town board's action to hire Cobb was based on his clearing a background check. He's expected to start July 15. He replaces Jeff Wells, who left last month to become director of planning for the city of Waxhaw.

A city planner in Brevard since 2008, Cobb was promoted to director of planning and chief zoning administrator in 2015. A native of eastern Pennsylvania, he has an undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University and a master's degree from Villanova University.

The town's day-to-day administrator "must have the ability to easily relate well to the community and to partner with an engaged Board to carry out the current and future strategic priorities as a new Comprehensive planning process is about to be launched," the council said in its job posting. "With a small but highly experienced staff, the manager must be a doer as well as an enabler."

Key priorities, the ad said, were:

  • Executing the 2019-20 budget.
  • Working closely with NCDOT on planned transportation improvements and greenways, including the N.C. 191 widening project, N.C. 280 access management project and Mills River Valley Trail.
  • Assisting the Town Planner with completing a new comprehensive plan, called "Making Mills River."
  • Continuing engagement with economic development efforts.
  • Advocating for the town in county and regional relationships.
  • Effectively implementing the town's new nuisance ordinance.