Sauer given 3-year contract

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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GATESVILLE – Gates County’s Board of Commissioners have ended their search for a new county manager. He was already serving in that position.

Scott Sauer, the current interim county manager, has been hired to a three-year contract. That contract, which will pay him $150,000 annually, becomes effective Aug. 14, which coincides with the end of his six-month interim contract.

All five commissioners voted in favor of the three-year deal.

“If anyone had suggested at this time last year that I would be returning to the field of county management, I would have thought they were crazy,” said Sauer, who ended a three-plus year retirement in January to accept Gates County’s interim manager job. “I have had the good fortune to serve as a manager in five counties during my first 30 plus years in local government.  And I have learned, sometimes the hard way, that God puts you where you are supposed to be in life, and for that I am very thankful.”

Sauer, a native of Ohio, has worked as a manager in Caswell, Scotland, Sampson, Harnett, and Bertie counties. He spent six and one-half years in Bertie before retiring on Nov. 1, 2019, but remained as a resident of that county.

Sauer said from the outset of coming onboard in Gates County, he is impressed with the Commissioners, their vision, and their united effort to start a new chapter in Gates County.

“From the first day on the job, it seemed like a good fit,” Sauer said. “The Board has many projects on its agenda, from broadband services for its citizens, to infrastructure rehabilitation for water and sewer, and long range planning for development of a 144 acre multi-use site, owned by the county near the community center and high school campus just to name a few.”

On a personal level, Sauer said he has enjoyed visiting Merchants Millpond State Park for many years as a trail hiker and kayaker in the swamp.

“This area is very familiar territory to me,” he noted.

Dr. Althea Riddick, chair of the Gates County Board of Commissioners, said during the process of seeking an interim manager to serve while the search progressed toward hiring the next full-time county manager, Sauer’s name kept surfacing.

“When Scott was referred as a candidate for the interim position, it became evident that his prior training and experiences as a county commissioner in North Carolina was what Gates County immediately required,” Riddick stated. “However, it was his daily interactions with the staff, the citizens, and the region at large that caused the Board to seriously consider his offer to come out of retirement. He demonstrates the ability to get things accomplished in a timely manner by inviting all voices to the table to resolve issues and to move forward. He assured the Board that he was sincere in his offer and had the support of his family.”

Riddick stressed that the county’s governing body needs consistency in planning, implementation, and follow-thru of those plans.

“The Board decided that Scott, as the county manager, is the right person at the right time, to work in collaboration with the Board as we endeavor to serve the needs of all citizens and take advantage of once in a lifetime funding opportunity to address the infrastructure challenges that county face. The three-year contract will go a long way toward strategically planning for the future,” Riddick concluded.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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