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Gates Planner resigns

GATESVILLE – Gates County is now looking for a Planning Director.

The small Pamlico County municipality of Oriental is no longer seeking a town manager.

Both those employment opportunities are related.

On Thursday of last week, Gates County Planning Director Randy Cahoon submitted his letter of resignation as he has accepted the position of Oriental Town Manager.

Cahoon, employed by Gates County since Nov. 21, 2005, will officially start his new job on March 9.

“It was a tough decision to leave Gates County,” Cahoon said. “I was torn between having a chance to move closer to my home and remaining here to finish some of the things we have started.”

In the end, the lure of being closer to his parents (Cahoon is a native of New Bern) proved as the deciding factor.

“I wish Gates County the best of luck,” Cahoon said. “This county is at a crossroads and I truly believe that positive things are waiting just over the hill.”

He continued, “The next (planning) director will have their work cut out for them, but we’ve been able to do some things here in just a little over three years that has placed Gates County in a position to grab the reins and go.”

Cahoon said he felt his work has helped Gates County prepare for their next step. He cited the work on the CAMA Land Use Plan, a countywide zoning program (adopted in March, 2007), updating the county’s subdivision and mobile home park ordinances and that the county’s new flood maps were now in their final stages.

“I helped to re-shape policy…I was brought here for reform and that’s what Gates County received while I was here,” Cahoon noted. “We’ve been through a massive series of changes.

Cahoon, 48, said he found the stories surrounding his departure interesting, but untrue.

“I haven’t been fired nor am I running away from trouble,” he stressed. “This is a case of where I’ve made it no big secret that I wanted to move up in the field of governmental management. Going to Oriental to become their town manager is an upgrade to my career, plus it’s a chance to be closer to home.”

In Oriental, a town of 900 residents nestled at the mouth of the Neuse River where it becomes the Pamlico Sound, Cahoon replaces Wyatt Cutler who retired after nine years as the town manager.

Cahoon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning, with a minor in Environmental Resources Management, from East Carolina University from where he graduated, with honors, in 2005. Before coming to Gates County, he worked as an assistant planner in Wilson and Pitt counties.

His last day on the job in Gates County is March 5.