Carolina Beach Council Terminates Town Manager's Employment

Carolina Beach Town Manager Michael Cramer. Carolina Beach Town Manager Michael Cramer.

Carolina Beach Council Terminates Town Manager's Employment Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 03 October 2018 14:26

Published: Wednesday Sept. 26th: Updated October 3rdm 2018.

By: Willard H. Killough III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council voted Tuesday night September 25th, to terminate the employment contract with Town Manager Michael Cramer.

The decision was announced following a closed session held at the end of the Council’s regular meeting.

Cramer returned to his office, gathered up some items, and then left the building.

The Council voted to select Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin to serve as Interim Town Manager during the search for a replacement.

According to a release issued by the Town, "At the September 25, 2018 Carolina Beach Town Council meeting, Council voted to terminate the employment contract with Town Manager Michael Cramer effective immediately.  After returning from closed session, Council took the following action: Mayor Benson made a motion to terminate the employment contract with Michael B. Cramer effective immediately.  Motion passed 4 to 1 with MPT Bridges voting no. Mayor Benson also made a motion to appoint the Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin as Interim Manager.  Motion carried unanimously."

Cramer was hired as Town Manager and began work in October 2013 at a salary of $88,560 per year. His current salary was  $145,586.98 which includes pay, benefits, incentives, bonuses, and deferred and all other forms of compensation paid.

Under the terms of Cramer's employment contract, the Council's decision to terminate his employment means Cramer will receive six months of pay equaling  $72,793.

According to the Contract, it states, "In the event Manager is terminated by the Town Council before expiration of the aforesaid term of employment and during such time that the Manager is willing and able to perform his duties under this agreement, the Town agrees to pay Manager a lump sum cash payment equal to six (6) months aggregate Salary at the time of termination. In the event Manager is terminated because of his conviction of any state or federal misdemeanor or felony, then, in that event, Town shall have no obligation to pay the monthly severance sum."

Another section of the contract states that if the Manager voluntarily resigns, he receives no severance pay.

Throughout 2018, the Town Council expressed frustration with the budget planning process for the 2018-2019 fiscal year as well as restarting a $2.7 million dollar project to dredge the Carolina Beach Lake.

Dredging was suspended August 29th, 2017 when the U.S. Army demanded the Town stop hauling dirt to land leased to the Town since the 1970's for a wastewater treatment plant off Dow Road.  The Town was placing the dirt at an unapproved location on the property.

Cramer sent a letter to the  Mayor and Town Council on October 24th,  2017, offering a detailed update on the suspended project to dredge the lake. He also apologized  stating, "I am truly sorry that a decision I made has negatively impacted the Town, and I am focused on solving the problems I have helped create."

As of September 2018, Cramer was still working on securing an easement to access Town owned property behind land owned by the U.S. Coast Guard off River Road just north of Snow's Cut Bridge. That land would be used to hold the dredge material.

The total estimated cost for removal of the remaining dirt on the property and completing the project ranges from $3,146,198 to $4,054,333. Cramer said the difference is due to reluctance of contractors to give firm cost figures because of the time-frame and other logistics.

Cramer told Council in July the goal was to request bids from contractors and bring those bids to Council at their October 9th, meeting for Council to consider awarding a contract for the second phase of the dredging project.

The goal was to finish the project between April and July 1st, 2019.


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