Funderburk hired as Tega Cay city manager, gets 3-year contract

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comFebruary 20, 2013 

— City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to offer the vacant city manager position to interim manager Charlie Funderburk, and he accepted.

Funderburk, 37, appointed interim manager Jan. 22 after his predecessor, Dennis Pieper, was hired as Fort Mill’s town manager, has worked for the city since 2001, when he became parks and recreation director. In 2007, he was tapped to fill the city’s newly created operations manager position. Currently a resident of Rock Hill, where he was born and raised, Funderburk plans to relocate with his wife and two young children to Tega Cay.

“Tega Cay, as I have grown to know it the last 12 years, it’s a wonderful community,” Funderburk said.

One of four candidates – including Fort Mill Assistant Town Manager Joe Cronin – City Council identified last week as finalists for the job, Funderburk said he expected heavy competition.

“It’s a very desirable place, especially with the population growth we’ve had. I think we’ve grown 86 percent since the last census and I knew it would be something attractive for people looking for those opportunities to be a city manager,” Funderburk said.

“Once Council released the four finalists, Joe Cronin and his background in Fort Mill, obviously he’s a tremendously talented guy and I have a lot of respect for him. Looking at [the other candidates'] resumes, they are all extremely talented individuals and I feel very fortunate to be selected.”

The city, which had a population of 7,014 according to the 2010 census, but now has closer to 8,000 residents, has grown through annexation, including property where a new elementary school is being built. Funderburk said the continued development of two major subdivisions, including the retail/residential Stonecrest community, and ensuring adequate public safety coverage for the growing areas, is his top priority.

Council voted 5-0 to offer Funderburk the job. Councilman Stephen Perkins was out of town and missed the vote, but Councilwoman Dottie Hersey read a letter from Perkins endorsing Funderburk for city manager. Other Council members said Wednesday why they chose him over the others.

“With the background I have, one thing you do before leaving a sales meeting is ‘ask for the order.’ Charlie had a strong interview and explained to us why he would be a good city manager and in my mind Charlie asked for the order,” Mayor George Sheppard said.

Councilman Ron Kirby, who wasn’t in office when the city’s last two managers were hired, said “the process was great. We met a lot of great people, but having Charlie interview with us was awesome. When he had the list down to 15, then to 12, Charlie kept popping to the top of the chart. He met all the criteria to begin with, but we had to keep an open mind and do our due diligence, but he kept coming to the top and I don’t think there’s any question in my mind at all that we made the right decision.”

The terms of Funderburk’s contract call for a three-year deal with an annual salary of $90,000, a city-owned vehicle – which he already has – and $5,000 for relocation expenses.

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