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Gregory resigns

GATESVILLE – If it weren’t for bad luck, it appears Gates County wouldn’t have any luck at all.

Exactly four weeks after being named as interim Gates County Manager, Paul Gregory Jr. has resigned from that position.

“I was really surprised when he made that announcement,” said J.S. Pierce, Chairman of the Gates County Board of Commissioners, after Gregory broke the news to the board at their May 19 meeting.

Pierce said he was certain that the resignation was due to Gregory’s health.

“I just think this was more than he could handle health-wise,” Pierce said. “I certainly can’t blame him there.”

Now, for the fifth time in two years, Gates County citizens will see a new face behind the county manager’s desk as the commissioners search for a replacement.

Pierce said the commissioners approved, at the May 19 meeting, an advertisement that seeks a permanent county manager.

In the meantime, the county is looking for an interim.

“We’re without right now,” Pierce said. “We need someone in the office to handle things. Basically, we’re looking for an interim and a permanent manager all at the same time.”

To get the county through at the current moment, Pierce reported the hiring of John Ed Whitehurst of Windsor on a part-time basis. Whitehurst is retired, once serving as Bertie County Manager for a number of years. He also served as interim county manager for Hertford County following the retirement of Don Craft.

“Mr. Whitehurst will be coming in to help us prepare our new budget (for fiscal year 2008-09),” Pierce stated.

Gregory, who worked as a public servant in Perquimans County for 27 years before retiring, replaced Melinda Hoggard who left the county last month due to her husband relocating to Wilmington.

Hoggard was formally named as Gates County Manager in January of this year after serving a brief time as the interim. She has been employed with Gates County government since October of 2004 at which time she came onboard as the county’s finance officer, working with then county manager Mark Biberdorf and later with Tim Russell. Biberdorf left Gates County at the end of 2006, replaced by Russell who resigned as interim manager in September of last year.