Brubaker takes over as interim town manager
Following the announcement on Nov. 8 that the Ocean View Town Council had voted unanimously to immediately terminate outgoing Town Manager Conway Gregory’s employment contract with the town, without cause, the council appointed Finance Director Lee Brubaker to serve as acting town manager.
“Lee is acting town manager. Lee is also our budget expert,” said Mayor Gordon Wood. “I have zero concern about our being able to handle and do the budget in a timely and complete fashion, and it will be easier than it was last year, because we spent so much time on it last year.”
Brubaker, following the announcement, said he had been unaware that the appointment would be given to him.
Although he is now acting as both its finance director and town manager, Brubaker said Gregory’s departure would not affect the town in a negative way.
“It’s not something I sought out, but I work here, and if I can add to the town and help the town… I live in town. I’m a citizen. I’m a taxpayer. I’m going to do what I can do to help the town out,” he said.
“I’ve worked in this kind of position,” Brubaker noted. “I worked in chief operating officer positions for quite a few years, both financial. So I’m confident that [Public Works Director] Charlie [McMullen], [Police Chief] Ken [McLaughlin] and I will keep this going.”
With the Town now entering budget season, Brubaker said that the budget development schedule is on track.
“It’s important to me that we get to a point where we’re in a solid financial footing,” he said, “that we understand what our costs are, that we understand what our revenues are and that we’re appropriately using our tax dollars.
“We’re just starting it,” he said of the budget, “but we’ve got a good tool. I know the tool. I helped develop the tool. Council, as they’re working with it, I believe they have confidence in the tool. We’ll get it done. We’re well under way.”
Brubaker said that, as an Ocean View resident, he also believes in investing in the town, as has been done with John West Park.
“At the same time, we need to invest in the town too,” he said. “I’m in great favor of continuing to invest in the town.”
Brubaker, who is a fulltime non-contractual employee, declined to comment on whether he would be additionally compensated for performing the duties of his new position as interim town manager.
He noted that, as an Ocean View resident and a town employee since 2007, he will continue to aid the town in its future.
“I look forward to continuing to contribute to the success of the town,” Brubaker said.