Former Whiteville Town Manager Joshua Ray reacts to his dismissal

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - The Town of Whiteville is looking for a new manager after voting to terminate Joshua Ray.

Seeing Ray wearing a t-shirt and jeans on a weekday is unusual.  Typically he wears a button-down shirt and a tie.  But, Tuesday night at 8:00 PM, Ray learned he would be wearing casual clothes for a while.

Mayor Dial Gray and Whiteville's City Council voted 4:3 to fire the town manager.

"The most difficult part right now, is the fact that we were still working on some things that needed to be finished," said Ray.  "Hopefully city staff can complete those projects for us."

The mayor would not comment about the situation, but one city council member said the mayor felt Ray wasn't acting fast enough on several town projects.

"He brought up an issue of a walking and biking trail that Whiteville has been working on, and we have not done anything on that in 6-8 months," said council member Terry Mann.

According to Mann, the mayor was unhappy with Ray's work on the town's sewer and drainage issues.

Ray said he has no hard feelings and is not thinking about his future in politics.

"My career goal in eight years is to be the next governor of North Carolina," said Ray.  "We have to continue our focus with that - look for a few municipalities that are hiring and see if they are a good fit, and move on from there."

Ray will receive a severance package from the city.  He said he will start looking for government jobs in municipalities around the state soon.