Log in Newsletter

Former City Council member recommended for PWC appointment

Committee moves forward despite councilwoman’s request for delay


A City Council committee has recommended that a former council member be appointed to the Fayetteville Public Works Commission despite a current council member’s request that the decision be delayed.

The appointments committee on Wednesday recommended that former City Councilman Chris Davis be appointed to the PWC.

Councilwoman Shakeyla Ingram had written to her fellow council members asking that the appointment be delayed until a new PWC chief executive is hired.

Elaina Ball, who had been the CEO and general manager of the public utility for less than two years, announced her resignation on Aug. 26. Her last day on the job was Sept. 2.

Ball has taken a job in her home state of Texas, according to a PWC statement.

In a Sept. 6 message to members of the City Council's five-member appointments committee, Mayor Mitch Colvin and other City Council members, Ingram wrote that she wanted to delay the PWC appointment.

“My interest and request (come) as I am now a member of the appointments committee with the potential to participate in the selection of a nominee and concern of ensuring a seasoned commissioner is well-equipped to be a part of the selection of the new president and CEO for our utility," she wrote.

Ingram said Thursday evening that she had expected the appointment process to proceed.

"I can't say that I was (disappointed). I kind of already knew what was going to happen considering the makeup of the new appointments committee,” she said. “That is why I was kind of adamant that I submitted a letter to the committee and to the council."

For a previous PWC appointment, Ingram said in her message, the appointments committee and full council supported a delay on extending a commissioner’s term during the search for the outgoing CEO.

“The committee/council also supported conversation to have the full council review candidates, interview and vote on the PWC appointment, as it (has) been said, ‘It’s the more important appointment,’” Ingram wrote.

“Nevertheless, I think we as a body and committee would be good stewards of our utility to delay the PWC appointment until the search and acceptance of a new CEO has been completed,” she wrote.

The full City Council is expected to vote on the nomination Monday night during its regular monthly meeting. Davis will need a majority vote to get the PWC seat.

Councilman Johnny Dawkins, a member of the appointments committee, said all the names of perhaps 200 people who applied for various city appointments will be available to the entire City Council.

"The entire council can choose whoever they want to choose," Dawkins said. "The PWC one will be an interesting one because Chris Davis was the liaison (with the city) for 11/2 to two years. The committee recommends that he be the one chosen."

If his nomination is approved, Davis would replace restaurateur Wade Fowler on the PWC.

In December 2020, Ball became the utility’s first woman CEO and general manager. She previously worked for El Paso Electric in Texas.

PWC Chief Operations Officer Mick Noland was named interim CEO and general manager until the position is filled full time. Noland has overseen the Water Resources Division of the utility since 1993, according to PWC.

Meanwhile, City Council newcomer Deno Hondros has been named the new liaison between the city and PWC, a nonvoting role with the utility.

If Davis is chosen as a PWC commissioner, he would have a vote as one of four members of the board.

"Those four commissioners will decide the next CEO who will replace Elaina," Dawkins said.

PWC members are appointed by the City Council to serve four-year, staggered terms, the utility says on its website.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville, PWC, City Council, Shakeyla Ingram