SUMMERVILLE — The new town administrator hopes to be a catalyst to bring the divided Town Council back together when he starts work later this month.
“I think there are challenges to every job, and we need to set common goals and move the town forward,” said Colin Martin, 66.
Since Mayor Wiley Johnson took office in November, council has been divided on many issues, including whether to consider hiring Martin. Council members Walter Bailey, Kima Garten-Schmidt, Bob Jackson and Bill McIntosh voted in favor of negotiating with Martin last week.
“I don’t think any community makes strides forward without challenges,” Martin said Thursday, shortly after he signed a contract with the town.
“It’s time now to meet those challenges. I look forward to joining a group of professionals and moving Summerville forward.”
He named as issues infrastructure, traffic, preservation and growth management. He and Johnson plan to meet Friday to discuss them.
Johnson said last week that Martin, a former Dorchester County administrator, was not his top choice. The town received more than 70 applications, but two of the six finalists dropped out before the interview stage.
Martin, who lives in the Summerville community but outside town limits, spent 25 years in the Navy and has 16 years of local government experience. He was deputy administrator of Dorchester County for two years and administrator from 2000 to 2004. Martin was hired by former Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis in 2007 but lost his position as executive director of county Water and Sanitation when Berkeley Supervisor Bill Peagler took office in January 2015. He has been retired since then.
“I’ve enjoyed the last year and have gotten a lot of things done, but it’s time to go back and do what I can to contribute to the community,” Martin said.
Martin’s salary will be $132,500 his first year, then $137,500. He also will be provided a town vehicle.
His lower salary this year reflects Martin’s plans for a three-week vacation in June, one planned before he accepted his new post.
Summerville’s interim administrator Lisa Wallace will return to her job as director of administrative services and municipal clerk.