The Town of Southern Pines adopted its 2022-23 budget during the town council meeting on June 14. As part of his recommended budget, Town Manager Reagan Parsons shared with council his intent to add a second assistant town manager (ATM) to the management team by promoting current Fire Chief Mike Cameron. Cameron’s transition will take effect on July 1 at the beginning of the new fiscal year.
Parsons presented his recommendation during the council’s spring budget retreat.
“The Southern Pines senior management team has varied throughout the years and we have had two Assistant Town Managers serving at other times in the past. This has proven valuable in serving the community and leading our team of nearly 200 employees. Southern Pines’ assistant managers work closely with me in key roles such as overseeing the delivery of essential community services, strategic planning and policy implementation, driving continuous improvement, and leading a complex and modern organization that delivers services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
In serving as ATM, Cameron will remain the town’s fire chief. In addition to leading the fire department, Cameron will oversee the town’s IT, public works, engineering, inspections, and utilities divisions and departments.
“Chief Cameron has a long standing history of successfully working with these departments and their respective divisions, especially during emergency situations, such as ice storms, hurricanes, and similar,” shares Parsons. “Assigning these departments to Mike was a natural fit with his continued leadership in the fire department and overseeing many of the Town’s emergency management processes.”
Current ATM Jessica Roth will oversee the library, planning, and recreation & parks departments, while also continuing her leadership roles with the town’s public information and capital planning initiatives and working closely with Town Clerk, Beth Robertson. Roth joined Southern Pines in January 2021 as an ATM.
“Jessica has a strong background in municipal planning, financial management, and the functions of the clerk and agenda management,” notes Parsons. “Her degree in landscape architecture and experience in parks planning and management ties in well with the operations of our recreation and parks department. Southern Pines is fortunate to have two assistant managers who complement each other so well with the breadth and diversity of their backgrounds and areas of expertise.”
Cameron has devoted his entire career to fire service and almost all of it has been in Moore County. He joined the Circle V Fire Department in Vass as a 16-year-old where he served for a number of years before transitioning to Moore County. He served as the county fire marshal for 10 years before being promoted to the Moore County 911 director.
Cameron’s career took him to the Wake County Fire/Rescue Department for a period before returning to Moore County in 2007 to join the Southern Pines Fire Department. Prior to his promotion to fire chief in 2016, Cameron has served Southern Pines as a captain, assistant fire chief, and then deputy fire chief.
Cameron continues to serve greater Moore County as the volunteer fire chief of the merged Cypress Pointe Fire/Rescue Department. He is also the chairman of the Moore County Fire Commission, the secretary of the Moore County Fire Chiefs’ Association, and serves on the Sandhills Community College Public Safety Training Committee.
Chief Cameron holds a Fire Science degree and professional certifications as a North Carolina Firefighter, Fire Officer Level III, Fire Instructor, Live Fire Training Instructor, and Incident Command Instructor. Mike and his family live in Vass.
Roth relocated from Georgia with her family in 2021 when she accepted the ATM position. She has over two decades of experience in local government management. For many years, she served her hometown of Snellville, GA, first as a planner and then as the planning director.
She then transitioned to Suwanee, GA as the assistant to the city manager before being promoted to the business services director in 2014. In this capacity, she oversaw the city’s municipal court and licensing and taxation divisions, developed the annual Capital Improvement Program (CIP), managed multiple capital projects, and led the city in developing its first strategic plan. Roth spent 13 years in Suwanee, before resigning to join the Town of Southern Pines.
Roth earned a Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia. She also received a graduate certificate in Public Financial Management from the University of Kentucky. She recently completed the Municipal and County Administration program through the University of North Carolina School of Government. Jessica and her family live in Southern Pines.
Parsons will continue to provide direct oversight for the police, finance, and administration/human resources departments in addition to his responsibilities in developing the annual budget, serving the town council, and other roles in the community and managing the town’s operations. Parsons has served as the town manager for Southern Pines since 2004.
Feature photo: Mike Cameron.