MARVIN — New Marvin administrator Christina Alphin has hit the ground running and is ready to tackle issues facing the village.
“I am really excited to come to a small-town community where I can apply my skill set,” Alphin said. “I am really impressed with the atmosphere here in Marvin. There is a lot of things that are going on, and they are in the center of development.”
Alphin started June 25 and then had to endure a short government shutdown several days later as the village failed to pass an annual budget by July 1 as mandated by state law.
Marvin failed to pass a 2018-19 budget after the village council canceled two meetings in June before Alphin even started. The cancellations came amidst a controversy on the appointment of a new member to the council, replacing a member who resigned earlier this year.
A new budget was finally passed and the village was up and running again on July 11.
Alphin brings a resume loaded with municipal experience to the village of about 6,000 residents. Prior to beginning work on June 25, Alphin was the assistant city manager in Albemarle where she led 12 departments with almost 300 full-time and part-time ‘employees and a budget of $60 million.
“I was there for three years,” Alphin said. “We had a lot of different things going on there at once. We had a lot of commercial development, a lot of retail development going on. I have experience of attracting new retail businesses there. That gave me a lot of general operations experience that will help here.”
Alphin, a native of Kinston who holds an undergraduate degree from North Carolina Wesleyan College and a graduate degree from East Carolina, also served as the city clerk in Kinston.
“That was an appointed position by the board,” Alphin said. “I really got to learn the political side of local government. It was a challenging position because you have to remember that you have five different bosses (council members) but you have to treat them as one and keep those five people informed of what you are doing. I was also given a lot of extra duties with the manager’s office just because they knew that was what my career trajectory was.”
Retail development, building a proposed city hall and expansion of the village’s parks are issues that Alphin could face in the coming years.
“They have a commercial corridor that they have generalized for development,” Alphin said. “To my understanding, they are not looking for big-box development. Whatever the council and constituents want to see are my goals and priorities. I envision that to be small retail development, boutique-type stores, maybe a restaurant, luxury-type shops. I want to see that corridor developed as the council and constituents want it to.”
Marvin has plans for three roundabouts and one is already under construction at the intersection of New Town Road and Marvin School Road. Alphin is hoping the new roundabout, which has closed a section of New Town Road and has drivers taking a detour, will be ready by the start of school next month.
“We have a lot of traffic issues,” Alphin said. “The new roundabouts will help traffic flow.”
De-annexation is another issue that may come up as Union County State Sen. Tommy Tucker has in past had the General Assembly move land from a town’s jurisdiction into the county’s jurisdiction at the request of developers.
“It’s a topic I experienced in Kinston and it is something that is not good for a local government because you lose your tax base,” Alphin said. “If it happens, you have to deal with those circumstances.”