Chris Seaberg, citing an opportunity that is too good to pass up, has resigned as town manger.
He delivered the news publicly at the Monday night meeting of the Swansboro Board of Commission-ers. The Sept. 13 meeting took place virtually utilizing the Zoom platform. Seaberg had informed commissioners of his plans in a letter of resignation addressed to each member of the board and dated Sept. 8.
“I would like to thank each and every one of you for supporting me here at the town for these last two years,” he said in the letter.
Seaberg’s tenure at the town will be almost exactly two years. He will begin a new job in October, working for the federal government aboard Marine Corps Base Cherry Point.
“I have tendered my resignation,” he said at Monday night’s meeting. “It has been a pleasure to work with everybody here. A great staff.”
Commissioner Frank Tursi pressed Seaberg to be more specific about his decision to leave.
“When a town manager resigns it’s a big deal and the folks of Swansboro require a public statement on why you’re going and where,” Tursi said. “People deserve to know why. I think it’s important for people to understand.”
Seaberg kept his answer simple, “My heart is just not in it.”
After the meeting, Commissioner Laurent Meilleur commented to the Tideland News, “He took the job just 2 years ago?” indicating there seemed to be more at play in his decision.
In an interview with the Tideland News on the morning of Monday, Sept. 13, Seaberg made it clear he is looking forward to the new job.
“I’ve enjoyed it here, I really have,” he said. But the opportunity to work for the federal government in what is Seaberg’s primary area of expertise made the difference.
Seaberg will begin work as interdisciplinary community planner aboard Marine Corps Base Cherry Point on Oct. 12. It is a brand new position, he said.
“It is not unlike what I did at Cedar Point,” he said. “I started at ground zero there.”
Seaberg was hired as Swansboro manager on Sept. 3, 2019. He followed Scott Chase, who served about four years as town manager.
Prior to coming to Swansboro, Seaberg was town administrator in Cedar Point, a post he held beginning in 2006. For about a year prior to that, he worked with Cedar Point and other coastal towns as a senior planner with Benchmark Planning. The Benchmark job followed stints as a county and municipal planner.
A Greenville native, he is a graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in urban and regional planning.
“I think I’m just … burned out. I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” he said of local government work.
Being involved in planning was key in his accepting the Cherry Point post.
“That’s my bread and butter,” Seaberg said.
“I did enjoy working with everybody here,” he continued. “The town has a dedicated staff. These guys are super. The ship will continue to move forward.
“The staff is so phenomenal here, I’m not worried about anything.”
The role aboard the base will be different for Seaberg as he will not be working for an elected body with six different individuals. Of that, he said, “It has its challenges, but every job does.”
Seaberg’s last day at Swansboro will be Thursday, Oct. 7.
He and his wife Jenny will continue to live in Cape Cartert. She is a teacher in the Jones County school system. Their son is a senior at Croatan High School.
“I kind of look at it as a second career,” Seaberg explained. “I’m 45, I could easily do this for another 20 years and retire in the federal system. I’m excited, I really am.”
Email Jimmy Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.