Folly Council OKs ex-prosecutor Wetmore as new city manager

A familiar face is taking over the city administrator job at Folly Beach.

Spencer Wetmore served 18 months as assistant to Mayor Tim Goodwin, who recently recommended that City Council vote to promote her. Before joining the city, she was an assistant solicitor for the 9th Judicial Circuit.

Wetmore said that city management better fits her goal-oriented personality than her previous work prosecuting violent offenses and drug cases.

“The mayor and council really do have a great vision for the city. It’s my job to just implement that,” she said.

Wetmore said that she learned about city management on the job. She consults with her counterparts on Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island for their expertise. Her legal experience helps for evaluating contracts, new ordinances or personnel issues, she said.

Her starting salary is $70,000, Goodwin said.

“It’s an increase from what she was making working for me, and that gives her plenty of room to move up the line,” he said.

Goodwin said the city is blessed to have a young, vivacious staff working hard for the residents. “And that’s a great thing when you go to work and you’ve got people who are ready to work and they are excited about the jobs,” he said.

Wetmore, 32, and her husband, Burns Wetmore, moved to Folly in 2012. Their family includes two young daughters and three dogs. Burns Wetmore leads the Solicitor’s Office team that prosecutes North Charleston cases.

Spencer Wetmore questioned whether she was making a difference at the Solicitor’s Office because the same offenders showed up in court time and again.

“I was just starting to burn out emotionally over there. I would wake up in the middle of the night worried about a victim,” she said.

But the Folly job is a different story.

“I love it. Riding my golf cart to work is not a bad gig. I’m lucky. It’s a great fit for me,” she said.

Folly Beach has an annual operating budget of $5 million and some 30 full-time employees. The city sets aside $1 million annually for beach renourishment projects.

Folly’s last manager, Toni Connor-Rooks, served the city for more than 15 years before her retirement two years ago after clashing with Goodwin during his first term.

Folly has a strong mayor form of government, which means that Goodwin is the chief executive. Wetmore said that being the mayor’s assistant was like a city management apprenticeship for her.

“There was definitely a learning curve there. And I’ve gained a lot of experience over the last year-and-a-half in my ability to take a leadership role in management decisions,” she said.

Wetmore, who grew up in Charleston, is a graduate of Academic Magnet High School, Princeton University and Vanderbilt University Law School.

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