New town manager settles in

By DeeAnna Haney | Apr 17, 2014

CANTON — It's been a week full of first-time meetings and handshakes for the newly hired Canton town manager, who started the job Monday.

Seth Hendler-Voss is now in charge of all town operations, including a staff of 68 full-time employees and a $7 million operating budget. He is the successor of former town manager Al Matthews, who held the job for 13 years until his retirement Jan 1.

The board announced Hendler-Voss as its choice for town manager, with Alderman Zeb Smathers opposed, at the March 27 board meeting. Hendler-Voss even made a speech accepting the position. However, the board of aldermen did not openly vote on an employment agreement until the last board meeting April 10.

Without much discussion, the board approved an employment agreement in a 3-1 vote, with Smathers again the lone alderman opposed.

According to his contract with the town of Canton, Hendler-Voss will be earning an annual salary of $84,000. In addition, the town has also agreed to reimburse him up to $1,500 for moving expenses after he has moved within the corporate town limits. Matthews' annual salary was $82,264.

Though this is his first experience managing a town, Hendler-Voss is no stranger to municipal government work.

After earning a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from The Pennsylvania State University, he landed a job as the principal landscape architect for the City of Atlanta where he worked for one year. He then went on to work as the capital projects manager for the City of Asheville parks and recreation department in 2005.

He became park planning and development manager for Asheville in 2011, during which time he managed 45 full-time and seasonal employees and a budget of about $3.5 million. He recently earned his master's degree in public affairs from Western Carolina University.

His wife, Amanda, is co-pastor at Land of the Sky United Church of Christ in Asheville. The two plan to move to Canton with their two children, 7-year-old Myles and 1-year-old Simon.

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