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Skinner delays retirement

Manteo town manager Kermit Skinner has agreed to remain on the job for another six months. In October, Skinner had announced he planned to retire in June 2018. He said he announced his retirement early because with an election looming he didn’t want his retirement be perceived as a political statement.

The political landscape did change in November. Manteo voters elected political veteran Bobby Owens to replace Jamie Daniels as mayor and a political newcomer Eddie Mann to the board of commissioners. Soon after Owens took the gavel, he privately asked Skinner if he would postpone his retirement. This month, Skinner agreed to stay on an additional six months.

The 63 year old Skinner began his career with Manteo as the first town planner. Originally from Richmond, he came to Dare County in 1981 on vacation and stayed. He returned to Virginia in 1987 to complete his degree; he holds a degree in urban studies and a masters degree in urban planning.

While completing his degree, he saw an employment advertisement for a town planner in Manteo. He applied and got the job. Two years later, at the urging of then-mayor Luther Daniels, he was promoted to town administrator. The position became town manager when Manteo changed its form of government. Owens is the eighth mayor Skinner has served.

After a brief executive session during the Manteo mid-month commissioners meeting, Owens announced – with unanimous commissioner consent – the town manager’s agreement for a six month extension before his retirement. Under the agreement, Skinner will receive a five percent pay increase beginning in July, develop a written town manager job description and Shannon O’Neal Twiddy is officially named assistant town manager with a five percent raise and she will be in charge of personnel decisions.

Commissioner Richie Burke, who made the motion to extend Skinner’s employment, said, “we needed more time. We also need the better-defined job description.”

Owens agreed, saying they needed more time to replace the man who has guided the Manteo government for decades.