MATTHEWS – Hazen Blodgett announced Sept. 27 that he will retire as town manager effective March 31, 2022.
Blodgett emailed town commissioners a resignation letter toward the end of a six-hour block of meetings and attempted to read it.
“It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement,” Blodgett read before going off script. “Damn, I'm not going to make it through this. Read it yourselves. I love this place. It's time to retire. That's all there is to it.”
Mayor John Higdon and Commissioner Jeff Miller expressed support for Blodgett.
“You've been a huge, huge asset to the town, Hazen, and you've got some really big shoes to fill,” Higdon said. “I'm really saddened to learn of your retirement but wish you the best. I'll still call you at opportune hours just to dump town stuff on you like I do now.”
Commissioners hired Blodgett in January 2003, following the 2002 resignation of Ralph Messara. Blodgett was the top candidate from a national search involving more than 135 applications. He was serving as town manager of Whiteville at the time.