Fayetteville City Manager Doug Hewett has decided to reorganize his administration team, which includes retaining Deputy Manager Kristoff Bauer as his No. 2. Bauer, 51, became deputy city manager seven-and-a-half years ago, but it’s been a rocky tenure. He was asked to submit his resignation last fall. Hewett also asked former Deputy Manager Rochelle Small-Toney to resign. Within one week, she cleared out her office and left town in October. Small-Toney remained on the city’s payroll through the end of the year to care for her ailing parents. Up & Coming Weekly learned last September of the deputy managers’ impending departures from sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
As part of Hewett’s reorganization of his administration, he decided this month to replace Small-Toney. That position as a deputy manager had been left open since her departure. Her successor will be redesignated an assistant manager. The third member of the administrative management team is Assistant Manager Jay Reinstein. “I do not anticipate any other structural changes in the organization,” Hewett said.
Bauer was hired in August 2009 by then City Manager Dale Iman. He holds dual bachelor’s degrees, an MBA and a law degree, all from the University of Washington. He was passed over for promotion in April when former Manager
Ted Voorhees was fired. Hewett got the job as Interim City Manager. Several years ago, Hewett served as an assistant manager but left town when Iman was let go in 2012. A year later, Hewett came back to Fayetteville to take a middle management position.
Under the council/manager form of local government in North Carolina, elected city councils hire and fire only their chief executives and city attorneys. Hewett was serving as Interim City Manager until the first of the year when the council gave him a one-year employment contract. That was unprecedented. Some council members said confidentially the one-year agreement would give Hewett an opportunity to prove himself. Hewett’s original plan for Bauer, sources said, was to keep him on temporarily in a consultant’s role.
City Hall dynamics in late 2016 saw Bauer take on some of Small-Toney’s responsibilities, thereby enhancing his position. And he became the chief architect of development plans for the minor-league baseball stadium that will be under construction this summer. Hewett and Bauer became more interdependent as Hewett found himself spending time working more closely with city council. Bauer won’t deny that the new arrangement gave him a chance to earn his way back into his boss’s good graces, which he did. Despite his talents, Bauer previously had disagreements with some colleagues and members of city council. Some of those associates have said in confidence they’ve seen a change for the better in his persona.
Except to confirm an inquiry from Up & Coming Weekly on the recent reorganization of his office, Hewett cites state personnel privacy laws as reasons he cannot comment on or confirm our reporting.