Former Washington tourism director named Belhaven town manager

Published 7:45 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

There’s a new manager in town in Belhaven. Following a special-called meeting of the Belhaven Town Council on Monday, former Washington Tourism Development Authority Director Lynn Davis was selected to serve as town manager.

Davis takes the reins of management from Interim Town Manager Lloyd Ballance, who has served in that capacity since May, following the resignation of Elwood “Woody” Jarvis. The Belhaven Town Council voted unanimously with those in attendance to hire Davis on Monday. Councilwoman Mary Cox was absent from the meeting.

A native of Bath, Davis told the Council that she moved to Belhaven with her husband a year ago and has gotten to know the community during that time. She expressed excitement to take on her new role and optimism about the future of the town.

“I’m glad to be here and I really believe that Belhaven is on the cusp of really good things,” Davis told the Council. “I have watched things grow and progress, and it seems like people are really thinking positively about the future of Belhaven are optimistic about working together. I’m really excited to be a part of this and help Belhaven move forward.”

Davis joins the administrative staff in Belhaven after 15 years serving as director of the WTDA. In addition to working to build events like the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships, Davis was also instrumental in planning and recruiting volunteers for county-wide events such as Cycle NC.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Davis shared some of the things she hopes to accomplish in her new role, including promoting Belhaven as a destination for boaters and vacationers alike.

“Having been in the tourism industry, there are some assets here in Belhaven that have been underutilized or under promoted,” Davis said. “I think we need to maximize our location on the ICW and the boat traffic that’s coming through here on a daily basis. How do we get those visitors to stay longer and spend more money while they’re here? How can we enhance the local economy with the visitors already coming to this community?”

Tourism and economic development aside, Davis says that there are improvements in the town’s 2018-19 budget that she believes will improve the overall quality of life for Belhaven residents. From programing for seniors and recreation opportunities for youth to infrastructure improvements to the town’s water and sewer system, Davis sees each as a step to making Belhaven better.

“This new council ran on pretty much the same premise; they wanted a better Belhaven,” Davis said. “It’s nice to have so many people that all agree they want a better Belhaven. How we get there is going to be the fun part. That’s where I look at the opportunities for bringing our citizens, elected officials, business owners and property owners together to determine what is that better Belhaven and how we get there.”