BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - Bluffton Town Council unanimously approved Stephen Steese to be Bluffton’s new town manager.
Steese is currently the City of Easley’s city administrator with a total of 18 years of local government experience. Town Council’s decision came after an all-day executive session in which Town Council members were scheduled to interview four final candidates.
The Town planned to release the final three candidates, but instead decided to select Steese at the end of executive session.
The contract being drawn up by the ton attorney, which still needs to be negotiated, will stipulate Steese’s salary, benefits and start date.
The mayor says this is a vital position because the town manager of Bluffton acts as a representative for the interest of the entire town
“It’s important to have someone that’s willing to get out, carry the flag, as so many of our residents come from a different form of government frankly, to realize that is how… He is our CEO. We’ve all said our counsel comes from the private side, we all work, we are a council manager form of government, and we kind of treat our town manager as the CEO,” Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka said.
As Town Manager, Steese will be the chief executive officer of the Town, responsible for implementing the policies, projects and priorities of Town Council.
Bluffton’s town manager also is responsible for supervising the town’s more than 140 employees, overseeing the capital improvement program, presenting the annual budget and working with public/private agencies on regional issues which affect Bluffton.
Steese has served the City of Easley since 2015. He supervised a staff of 170 full-time employees with a budget of approximately $19 million.
Steese was also the city manager of the City of Roxboro, N.C. for four years and the city manager of the City of Woodruff, S.C. for two years.
He earned two degrees from Clemson University – a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public administration. He is a native of Florence.