Ready for Town’s Inevitable Growth
By Lisa Brown
Just 10 weeks into the job, Joe Moore is happy to be working and living in the “Town of Friendly People,” as Zebulon is known.
Born and raised in Charlotte, he has watched the growth the state has undergone with the eye of a manager and mind of an engineer. With degrees in engineering and public administration, he feels right at home helping Zebulon manage the growth that he knows is inevitable.
“Zebulon is a well-kept secret for now,” Moore says. “It’s a matter of time before we see the growth that is happening over the Triangle area.”
He knows from experience that residents want to be included in the process from the very beginning. This is more obvious to him in Zebulon where people are not only very friendly but also very interested and passionate about their town.
Before arriving in Zebulon, Moore was employed as the Brevard city manager, a position he held for just a little over five years. Nestled in Transylvania County near Asheville, Brevard provided a rewarding experience but proved somewhat isolating. Being in Wake County allows Moore the ability to network with 13 other area managers. He thrives on taking in the cultural diversity and being at the heart of one of the fastest-growing areas in the state. An alumnus of both NC State University and the University of North Carolina, and a former employee for the town of Cary, he’s also pleased to be back in the area where he went to school and raised his family.
As manager, he oversees day-to-day operations of the town, including personnel and budget issues. While the day-to-day tasks of his job are necessary, he says he is also excited to be part of outreach and getting to know townspeople, their concerns and their desires. Zebulon Mayor Robert Matheny believes they have found in Moore the right fit for the job and the future of Zebulon.
“Joe seems to have the education, the skills, and the demeanor for management,” states Matheny. “He’s a very visionary type person, which is good for us. I like people who think outside the box.”
His vision for the town lies deep within him, and he says he believes it is in his DNA to be a town manager.
“I want to be part of creating a vibrant town where people are out and about and where everyone has an understanding and is participating in the progress of their community,” he says.
This vision began as early as second grade, when he remembers visiting Disney World with his family. Taking a trip down Main Street USA seeing the hustle and bustle of people coming in an out of small shops and houses, created a stir in him. He says he thought then and now that having that kind of experience is how small town life should be.
At a time when growth management is a huge concern, Moore sees it only as opportunity.
“I would rather face the challenges of growth versus the challenges of no growth any day,” he says.