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Eubanks accepts post in Mauldin

YORK -- York City Manager Trey Eubanks gave the City Council his two-week notice Tuesday after accepting a position on Monday as city administrator in Mauldin.

His last day will be July 3, ending a 10-year run in York. Public Works Director Charles Helms will take over as interim manager until a replacement is found.

"There are very few jurisdictions I'd consider leaving York for," Eubanks said. "Mauldin, like York, has a great quality of life, great schools and a tremendous future."

With 23,000 residents, the Greenville suburb is the 19th-largest city in the state. In Mauldin, Eubanks will oversee the city's 146 employees. Growth planning and effective service will be immediate priorities, said Eubanks, a Spartanburg native and University of South Carolina alumnus.

Eubanks said he applied for the Mauldin position in March. He was chosen from a field of 20 applicants, according to The Greenville News.

In 2003, Eubanks was a finalist for a similar post in Simpsonville.

Eubanks said he's looking forward to the new opportunity but admits he has mixed emotions.

"The staff here in York has been extremely committed to this city," Eubanks said. "I'm going to miss everybody and the work we've done here."

Eubanks' tumultuous tenure in York has been marked by financial disputes and infrastructure growth and upgrades. He began his post as city manager in 1997 under former Mayor Roddey Connolly, who was later investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division over misuse of city funds and sentenced to two years probation. In March 2004, the city lost $55,000 for incompatible computer software after Eubanks failed to request a refund within 60 days of purchase. In June 2006, the city's account with South Carolina Bank & Trust reflected a negative balance, causing city leaders to borrow money to offset the shortfall -- a shortfall that Eubanks did not immediately tell the city's mayor and council.

Earlier this month, Eubanks was not offered a raise or contract extension by York officials during his evaluation.

But Eubanks also is responsible for having helped secure more than $5.6 million in grants during the past decade, including a $1.5 million grant to expand the city's wastewater treatment facility and a $1 million grant to provide a water line around the S.C. 5 Bypass and along S.C. 161.

"Without these grants, these programs or projects would have been paid for by our taxpayers," Eubanks said.

Overall, Eubanks said, it's been a positive experience in York.

"This has been a wonderful decade," he said. "Sure, there have been challenges, but challenges help you grow."

Council reacts to resignation

Eubanks' resignation came to no surprise to Mayor Eddie Lee.

"He's been here 10 years," Lee said. "That's a long time for someone in his position. He now has a wonderful opportunity to advance in his career."

During a special City Council meeting on Tuesday, Lee and other council members wished Eubanks success in Mauldin and thanked him for his service to York.

"He's helped this council shape York's future," Lee said.

Councilman Charles Johnson said Eubanks has shown much growth throughout the years.

"When you first started, you were so young," Johnson told Eubanks, now 38. "I wondered if you could do it. But I've seen you grow into a very fine man. You did a wonderful job for this city."

Fellow councilman Ed Brown called Eubanks an enthusiastic go-getter.

"I hope we can find someone else with those characteristics," Brown said.

As a new budget season draws near, the council is in no hurry to fill the position. Helms has filled in as manager four times in the 30 years he's served York.

"Charles has been my right-hand man," Eubanks said. "This city will not miss a beat."

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