Bluffton Town’s Council unanimously approved authorizing Terry Finger, the town attorney, to extend a contract to Stephen Steese, to be Bluffton’s new town manager. Steese is currently the City of Easley’s (SC) city administrator with a total of 18 years of local government experience.
Town Council’s decision came after an all-day executive session in which Town Council members were scheduled to interview four final candidates. The Town had planned to release the final three candidates however council decided to select Steese at the end of executive session.
The contract, which still needs to be negotiated, will stipulate Steese’s salary, benefits and start date.
If Steese accepts the town manager position, he will be the chief executive officer of the Town, responsible for implementing the policies, projects and priorities of Town Council. Bluffton’s town manager also is responsible for supervising the town’s more than 140 employees, overseeing the capital improvement program, presenting the annual budget and working with public/private agencies on regional issues which affect Bluffton.
Steese has served the City of Easley since 2015. As Easley’s administrator, he supervised a staff of 170 full-time employees with a budget of approximately $19 million. Steese was also the city manager of the City of Roxboro, NC from 2011- 2015 and the city manager of the City of Woodruff, SC form 2009- 2011. He earned two degrees from Clemson University – a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public administration. He is a native of Florence.