Johnny Woodard Staff writer
September 23, 2013
LAURINBURG — Laurinburg Human Resources Director Amy Martin announced Monday that she will be leaving her position for another job on Oct. 16.
“I’m not yet saying where I’m going, except that it’s in Southern California,” Martin said following a city council retreat.
Martin said that she informed the city of her decision on Sept. 16, and City Manager Charles Nichols said that the vacancy was advertised the same day.
Martin took over as human resources director in November 2012, and before the New Year was faced with vacancies of police and fire chief following the retirement of John Evans, who held both positions. She was tasked with making the hires without the support of a city manager, as Ed Burchins resigned for personal reasons in December.
“There was definitely a lot to work on there when I started,” Martin said.
Martin also assisted the city council in finding current City Manager Charles Nichols, who filled that vacancy on July 1.
Martin said that she “hopes employees are now happier to come to work,” saying her philosophy of promotion from within a department, rather than filling the position from outside the city, has helped to improve the city’s management strategies.
“But again, my hope, most of all, is that people are happier to come in every day,” Martin said.
Police Chief Darwin Williams, who was promoted to that position in August, called her tenure a “blessing to the city.”
“She’s been good for our department, and I think we worry her half to death sometimes bouncing ideas off her, but she’s always been very supportive and has worked with us hand-in-hand,” Williams said. “I appreciate everything she’s done for the department.”
Fire Chief Randy Gibson was hired in March.
Councilman Drew Williamson said that Martin “helped advance the city” in a number of areas, bringing it closer to the cutting edge of human resources practices.
Mayor Tommy Parker also shared words of praise, saying that Martin “has been a very valuable and dutiful employee of the city of Laurinburg.”
“(Martin) brought our awareness of statues to an appreciation that should be recognized by the city council and the citizens of the city,” Parker said.
Martin said that she plans to begin conducting interviews to fill her position on Oct. 2.
“We are also expecting more applications and conducting phone screens,” Martin said.
According to Martin, City Manager Charles Nichols will “whittle down” applicants, with the expectation that an offer will be extended by Oct. 10.
“And we hope that Oct. 28 would be the start date,” Martin said. “We understand that is a tight schedule, but that’s what we are trying for.”