Whitestown appoints interim town manager

The Whitestown Town Council won’t select a permanent replacement for town manager Dax Norton until 2020.

Norton, who was hired as town manager in 2013, resigned in January to take a job as municipal administration and management consultant at Indianapolis-based MS Consultants. He submitted his resignation to the town council on Jan. 2.

For now, the town has appointed an interim town manager who will serve in the role until January, when a newly elected town council will choose a permanent replacement. Jason Lawson, a town employee for 11 years, was named acting town manager. Most recently, he served as director of the department of public works.

Prior to Norton’s departure, Lawson was No. 2 in command and led the town when Norton was on vacation.

“Jason worked very closely with Dax on all major projects during Dax’s five years here, so he was already up-to-speed on everything happening in the town and ready to take the helm seamlessly,” Tanya Sumner, Whitestown's director of public relations, told IBJ in an email.

Municipal elections will be held this spring and fall, so the town council members elected in November will decide how to permanently fill Norton’s position once they take office in January.

Right now, just one town council race will be contested this spring. District 5 representative Kevin Russell, a Republican, is challenged by Rob Worl, also a Republican.

In November, Libertarian Erik Charles will challenge District 3 incumbent Eric Miller, a Republican. The Democratic party will have an opportunity to slate more candidates in the fall, and independents will have the opportunity to file, meaning more challenges could be possible.

Norton was hired as town manager in 2013 and led Whitestown through a period of robust population and economic development growth.

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