By CALVIN ADKINS
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
The Tarboro town council gave its manager a new contract Monday during the town's recessed meeting.
Alan Thornton was given a one-year contract and his three-month severance package was upgraded to four. Both issues received a 7-1 vote with councilman Garland Shepherd voting against them.
Shepherd said in a Tuesday telephone interview that he voted against the issues because, "My concerns are for the future of Tarboro. That's all I want to say right now."
Thornton was hired in August 2011 to replace Sam Noble, six months after leaving a similar post in Southport.
"I am honored and pleased to have the opportunity to continue to serve the Town of Tarboro and its citizens in the capacity of town manager," Thornton said. "I want to thank the town council for their support and their confidence in my continuing ability to serve. I have enjoyed my time in Tarboro and I look forward to Tarboro's bright future."
The decision came less than one week after 18-year veteran mayor Donald Morris abruptly resigned. His last official action was to recess the meeting. Two days later he resigned.
On Monday, the board voted not to appoint an active mayor, but instead voted to confer the duties to Mayor Pro Tem Taro Knight. Knight is the councilman for Ward 7 and his seat is uncontested in the November general election.
"For the next four months, I will do my best," Knight said. "In December, I will gladly pass the baton. I appreciate the council putting confidence in allowing me to lead them."
Councilman Rick Page, Donnie Hale and John Wooten are vying for the mayor's seat.
The board also voted to accept proposals for legal services. Currently, the town is using Brough Law Firm of Raleigh. Knight said the town does not have any problems with Brough. "We just want to entertains some bids," he said.