Edward Dickie starts work as the new St. James town manager Monday.

The town council approved Dickies’ appointment in a 4-0 vote at its regular business meeting on August 6. He will succeed Gary Brown, who is retiring after five years of service in St. James.

“I’m excited to be here,” Dickie said. “I’m ready to do the best I can for the people of St. James and for the surrounding area.”

Dickie has more than 20 years of experience in municipal management, of which almost 14 were spent as either a city manager or an assistant city manager.

Previously, he served for seven years as manager of Santa Clara in southern Utah, a city with close to 8,000 people. Before that, he was the manager of North Ogden in northern Utah

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for four years, serving about 20,000 people.

Mayor Jean Toner said the council began searching for Brown’s replacement in April.

“We were very impressed with (Dickie’s) extensive experience in budget, finance and municipal planning,” she Toner, “as well as the fact that he has worked in cities of similar size that have experienced rapid growth.”

She added that Dickie also stood out because of his experience with property owners associa- tions and his familiarity with FEMA from flooding in Utah.

“We thought that was important with having Hurricane Florence in our backyard last year,” she stated.

Dickie received his bachelor’s degree in geography from Utah State University and his master’s in public administration from the University of Nebraska. He also has a graduate certificate in geographic information systems from St. Mary’s University.

Dickie said his favorite place he ever lived was Florida, and he wanted to be near the water again.

“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come to the coast,” he said. “North Carolina has always been a beautiful place that I’ve wanted to live in.”