EMERALD ISLE — Town Manager Matt Zapp announced Wednesday he has hired Sarah Williams, town clerk in Pine Knoll Shores, to replace Emerald Isle Clerk Rhonda Ferebee, who is set to retire in September.

Ms. Williams, a Swansboro native, will also assume Ms. Ferebee’s duties as Emerald Isle’s human resources officer.

Ms. Ferebee, who Mr. Zapp said has had a “decorated tenure,” has held the clerk’s post for more than 20 years and announced her retirement earlier this year. Her current salary is $83,232 per year, Mr. Zapp said Wednesday, and Ms. Williams will start at $60,000.

In a news release, Mr. Zapp said Ms. Williams was chosen after “an extensive search, including nearly 100 applicants.”

She has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, with a concentration in environmental policy and management. She has worked for Pine Knoll Shores for nine years.

“It’s been an honor to serve as clerk to the town of Pine Knoll Shores,” Ms. Williams said Wednesday in an email. “It’s a special place with great people and I have enjoyed my time here.

“I am very lucky to get to go from one great town to another, and I am looking forward to joining the team in Emerald Isle, learning more about the town, and meeting everyone,” she continued.

Ms. Williams, Mr. Zapp added, is a longtime volunteer with the N.C. Coastal Federation and is a North Carolina-certified municipal clerk. She’s also a graduate of the UNC School of Government’s Municipal and County Administration Program.

Mr. Zapp said he hates to see Ms. Ferebee go.

“Rhonda is more than an exceptional professional, she is a wonderful person,” he said in an email after the news release. “She amazes our team on a daily basis, managing three roles of responsibility without fail.

“Technically, replacing Rhonda was/is a challenge. The true challenge will come when she gracefully leaves our daily employment. We all consider Rhonda a member of our family,” he concluded.

Ms. Williams will start work in Emerald Isle Monday, July 20.

According to the news release, she “enjoys spending time with her two dogs Andy and Eloise at the beach, East Carolina University (her undergraduate alma mater) football games in the fall and reading a good book.”


Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

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