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Greenville city manager to retire

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Barbara Lipscomb


Shannon Keith

Friday, January 13, 2017

Greenville City Manager Barbara Lipscomb on Thursday announced “with mixed feelings” her plans to retire after five years with the city.

Lipscomb submitted her retirement letter to the Greenville City Council during its Thursday night meeting. Lipscomb's last day with the city will be Aug. 31.

"It is with mixed feelings that I announce my upcoming retirement," Lipscomb said. "When I interviewed in Greenville, I was advised that the council was looking for someone who could bring meaningful change to the community. ... I have sincerely tried to meet the challenge and hope that the community is pleased with the progress that has been made."

Lipscomb, 65, was hired by the city in 2012. Throughout her more than 40-year career, Lipscomb has worked in the public sector as a planner and administrative services officer, assistant city manager, deputy city manager, and city manager in municipalities that include Grand Rapids, Mich.; Lakeland, Fla.; Gainesville, Fla.; and Casselberry, Fla.

Lipscomb also worked in the private sector, doing marketing work with a company in Pittsburgh.

“It’s time to retire,” Lipscomb said. “I’ve been working all my life, and it is just time. But looking back to when I started my career, I never would have dreamed that I would be a part of positively touching the lives of so many people in so many communities.”

Lipscomb said her time in Greenville “has been a wonderful capper” to her career, which began in 1975. Lipscomb said she feels one of her biggest achievements as city manager was the implementation of Greenville’s Facilities Improvement Plan, which initiated maintenance projects for municipal buildings and facilities.

“Some of our facilities were not where they should be when I started,” she said. “That is something I have worked really hard to change.” 

Other projects that Lipscomb oversaw during her time with the city include:

* Construction of the Fourth Street Parking Deck;

* Establishment of several police substations:

* Renovation of the South Greenville Recreation Center:

* The Greenville Transportation Activity Center (GTAC) project, which broke ground in November;

* Development of the Tar River Legacy Plan and Town Common Master Plan.

“I wanted to see the Town Common redeveloped before I retired,” Lipscomb said. “The city now has a master plan for the Town Common and we have the new playground that was constructed, so things are moving in the right direction.”

Lipscomb said she is “very proud” of the more than $1 billion in public and private development projects that were announced or started in earnest in the Greenville area and are expected to be completed by the end of the decade. 

“All of the economic development in Greenville during the past few years has been incredible," Lipscomb said. “I never dreamed that we would be able to tee up on some of those projects.”

The City Council on Thursday accepted Lipscomb's retirement letter and approved a contract with Slavin Management Consultants to conduct a search for her replacement. When the City Council hires a new city manager, Lipscomb will work as a special projects manager with the city until her retirement date.

“I will try and assist with the transition with the new city manager,” she said. “And there are a few more things I would like to see finished before Aug. 31.”

Lipscomb said she has not decided where she will be living after her retirement.

“I’m weighing my options right now,” Lipscomb said. “I have family and friends in Florida and Georgia, but I love Greenville, too. I have loved my time here, and I love this city ... so maybe I will decide to stay here.”

Contact Shannon Keith at skeith@reflector.com and 252-329-9575.