Once again, Jim Duckett is stepping into familiar shoes.
This is the second time he’s been named interim town administrator for Surfside Beach in three years.
He will begin work on Aug. 24 after Town Administrator Dennis Pieper last week confirmed he was retiring. Pieper said he had been planning his retirement for “quite some time.”
Surfside Beach Town Council made the hiring official Wednesday during a special meeting, authorizing Duckett’s employment agreement following a brief executive session.
Duckett previously served as Surfside Beach's town administrator starting in late 2010 until he stepped down in mid-2012, not long after he was named in a lawsuit filed against the town over a former Surfside Beach building and zoning official’s firing.
The S.C. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a former Surfside Beach building and zoning off…
Duckett acted as interim administrator from February 2018 until mid-July of that year, which is when Pieper began working for the town.
During Wednesday’s meeting, town resident Tom Dodge said officials should approach the Municipal Association of South Carolina for help finding someone to fill the interim role.
Hired by council, the administrator is the chief administrative officer of the town government, according to the Surfside Beach website, and oversees the town’s day-to-day operations.
The administrator’s duties include implementing ordinances and programs adopted by the town council, developing and administering the annual budget, personnel and purchasing policies and informing the county about the town's financial state, the site said.
“As Town Administrator, this person also recommends policies, conducts strategic planning and maintains intergovernmental relations.”
Last week, the town posted job listings for both the administrator and planning and zoning administrator positions on its website.
“Whoever we get for the town administrator [job], we have to take our time and do it right,” Mayor Bob Hellyer said, “and the interim administrator just gives us the ability to do that.”
Hellyer said Duckett “is not a stranger to the town,” having been the interim administrator before, and said council members have all talked to him one-on-one.
Councilwoman Debbie Scoles thanked Duckett for offering “to become our interim [administrator] during his trying time in our town.”
“I appreciate it,” she said.