Southern Shores hires Nags Head Town Manager Cliff Ogburn

Cliff Ogburn [courtesy Town of Nags Head]

Current Nags Head Town Manager Cliff Ogburn has been chosen by the Southern Shores Town Council to become the town manager of Southern Shores at the beginning of July.

Ogburn has served as town manager of Nags Head since 2009, after a short stint as deputy town manager. He was previously public services director for Dare County, and parks and recreation director for the Town of Edenton.

“On behalf of our Town Council, I congratulate Mr. Ogburn on his selection after a rigorous search process,” said Mayor Tom Bennett in a press release issued Wednesday. “We considered many well qualified candidates and deliberated carefully, but we found the best qualified candidate close to home.”

“Cliff Ogburn is an experienced and resourceful manager, with a strong educational background. His experience in Nags Head and extensive knowledge of Dare County will allow him to do an excellent job for our citizens,” Bennett said.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the team at the Town of Southern Shores,” said Ogburn. “I am eager to make positive contributions and build meaningful relationships within the community.”

“I look forward to serving the Town Council, residents, property owners, and businesses to help make Southern Shores an even better place to live, work and visit,” Ogburn said.

“While Nags Head greatly appreciates the many years of Cliff’s leadership, and know how much he’ll be missed here, we are also happy for the board, employees and citizens of Southern Shores,” said Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon.

“Cliff will be a great asset to them, and they will come to appreciate him as much as we have,” Cahoon said.

“I’m proud to have played a role in such a progressive, family-oriented organization,” said Ogburn about his time with Nags Head. “I’ll always remain a passion advocate for this community, but what I will miss most are the dedicated and diligent employees who work to support the policies of the Board of Commissioners. It was a privilege to be a part of such a professional team.”

Ogburn succeeds Peter Rascoe, who retired late last year and now is employed by the city of Charleston, South Carolina.

“We thank Peter Rascoe for his dedicated service to our citizens and his many achievements,” said Bennett. “We also thank Wes Haskett, our planning director who is serving our citizens well as interim town manager.”

“Our new town manager will find that our finances are in a sound condition to deal with the opportunities and challenges ahead, with the assistance of our very capable town staff,” Bennett said.

Ogburn earned a Masters in Public Administration degree from Old Dominion University, and a masters in education and a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University.

Ogburn is a native of Greensboro and grew up in Clemmons in Forsyth County. He and his wife, Joy, and their children currently reside in Nags Head.

The Mercer Group, Inc., a national public sector executive search and consulting firm with an office in Raleigh, assisted the council with its search. The council received 66 applications from 19 states, and considered a number of well qualified candidates with extensive local government management experience.

The council interviewed five semifinalists remotely, in light of the Dare County emergency order.

Mayor Bennett said that the council greatly appreciated the valuable input of citizens and town department heads about the qualifications, experience and characteristics that the council should look for in the next manager.

“We used those criteria as a guide in making our decisions,” Bennett said.

The hiring is subject to formal appointment and approval of terms of employment by the council at their June 1 meeting.

During his tenure with Nags Head, Ogburn spearheaded several critical projects, including:

  • the country’s largest locally-funded beach nourishment project
  • addition of several miles of pedestrian paths and construction of two major parks, Dowdy Park and Whalebone Park
  • preparation, response, and recovery from several natural disasters including Hurricanes Matthew, Florence, Michael, and Dorian
  • coordination of Nags Head’s 50th anniversary activities
  • transition of operators for the nursing and rehabilitation center in Nags Head
  • improvement of the town’s fire protection class rating, which decreased from 4 to 2

“Cliff’s steady, direct approach and his passionate interest in Nags Head and its citizens and property owners served our town incredibly well,” said Cahoon. “We’re sorry to lose this well-tested leader but glad his talents will remain on the Outer Banks.”

Ogburn’s last day will be June 19, 2020.

“In the coming month, the Board of Commissioners will determine plans for searching for a successor to Mr. Ogburn,” said Mayor Cahoon.

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