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New police chief introduced in Spring Lake

Errol Jarman started his new position Monday


Former State Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Errol Jarman will serve as Spring Lake’s interim police chief, the Board of Aldermen announced Monday night.

With over 26 years of service in the state-level law enforcement agency, Jarman, 57, retired in 2021 with his eye on Spring Lake.

“I am excited to be here,” Jarman said after being introduced at the board’s Monday meeting. “I look forward to working with the men and women serving our police department and the citizens in this community.” 

Jarman said his goal is to see the department fully staffed, functional and self-sustaining. He is also hoping to attract officers who are leaving the military and looking for a similar structure for a new career.

“Starting today, we are looking up and moving up,” Jarman said. “My hope for the Spring Lake police department is to get better every day, to grow every day.”

Former Police Chief Dysoaneik Spellman was relieved of duty in March after being named chief in August 2022.  

Also in attendance at Monday’s meeting was incoming town manager Jonathan “Jon” Rorie, who will start full-time on May 1. Rorie was most recently the city manager in Camden, South Carolina. 

Fire Chief Jason Williams has served as interim town manager since October 2022. 

Economic development strategy session proposed

What happened: Hayes Group Consulting, a consulting firm based in Sanford, outlined plans for a strategic planning session with an emphasis on economic development. 

Why it matters: Spring Lake has been without an economic development staff member since 2021. Mayor Kia Anthony said Monday that she does not foresee the town being able to add a position any time soon, but in the meantime, she would like to see the town build a climate for economic development. She said this process would allow the community to talk, collaborate and strategize as they move towards the future. 

What’s next: Anthony hopes the board will consider the proposal with Hayes Group Consulting leading the town through a strategic planning retreat. Anthony met the firm through an East Carolina University Economic Development Honors Seminar, a training course hosted last year through the Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corporation (FCEDC). 

According to Daniel Parks, the senior strategist with Hayes Group Consulting, the process would begin with a six-hour interactive session with 15 to 25 key thought leaders including government officials, town department heads and business leaders before organizing the plan into strategic goals and deliverable actions. He also added that Managing Partner Charles Hayes was a senior fellow in residence at ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development and had created the Economic Development Academy to help municipalities with economic training.

The cost estimate for the strategic planning process and plan was $6,658, which includes materials, travel and labor required, according to Anthony, who provided a schedule of fees after the meeting.

Conflict of interest policy 

What happened: The board passed a conflict of interest policy in order to receive state-appropriated funds by state Sen. Tom Mcinnis (R-Dist. 21). It was one of five steps of required documentation by the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) in order to receive the state-appropriated funding, according to agenda materials.

Why it matters: The town was awarded $250,000 for a new computer system and related equipment, $400,000 for park plan updates and a possible natural gas extension and $300,000 for stormwater infrastructure updates. 

What’s next: All elected and appointed officials, employees and volunteers within the town will need to review and sign that they will adhere to the policy. 

Proposed changes to town charter

What happened: Alderman Raul Palacios brought a resolution of intent to consider an ordinance amending the town charter to change the length of terms for the board. The proposed changes include extending the board and mayor’s terms from two years to four years, changing board members’ titles from “aldermen” to “commissioner,” and setting a date for a public hearing. The ordinance was first discussed by the board in November. 

Why it matters: According to Palacios, the vote, which passed unanimously, announces the board’s intent to consider changing board elections from every two years to every four years and changing their title to the more gender-neutral term of “commissioner.”

What’s next: The public hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. April 22, before the regularly scheduled board meeting at 6 p.m. The board plans to vote on the changes to the town charter at that meeting.

The board also went into a short closed session, after which they announced that the town would be hiring Rorie on a part-time basis until April 30, at which time he will start his full-time contract. Until then, the board voted to hire Rorie at $70 an hour, not to exceed 32 hours per week. These terms are contingent on approval from the state Local Government Commission with the proper pre-audit and signatures.

Jami McLaughlin covers Spring Lake for CityView. She can be reached at jmclaughlin@cityviewnc.com or at 910-391-4870.