Severance package being considered for Lewisburg's retiring city manager

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lewisburg's councilmen are being asked this week to consider paying a severance package for the city manager whose retirement starts just before Halloween.

"There will be a lot of questions we will need answered" after City Manager Eddie Fuller retires, Mayor Barbara Woods said last week when asked about an item on the council's Tuesday night agenda.

"I just want to be sure Eddie stays in town and answers our phone calls," Woods said.

Fuller says he's not asking for the severance package, but one has been paid to other managers at Lewisburg City Hall.

After some three decades as a city employee, Fuller has announced that he will retire late this month.

"I feel like a package ought to be offered because that would, in effect, be his agreement to be available for consultation for who ever we pick (as the next manager,) or the interim when we are picking" a successor, the mayor said.

Fuller's announcement was not a surprise when he confirmed publicly in late January what was a known fact of life for City Hall management in late 2009. Some officials said they were trying to persuade him to stay.

This year has been turbulent. The Police Advisory Board was abolished. A new city attorney has been hired. A successor for the city's industrial developer is being sought and there have been a series of 3-2 votes among councilmen. Meanwhile, state and federal environmental regulators have enforced an agreement reached with the city for a $13 million expansion for the sewage treatment plant that's to be funded by a rate hike and that's prompted controversy.

It might continue. There's a city election in seven months for the seats held by Councilmen Robin Minor and Quinn Brandon Stewart.

Now, qualifications are drafted for the applicants who want to succeed Fuller.

Until that employee is hired, management responsibility falls to the mayor, according to the City Charter.

Woods spoke about the agenda for Tuesday night's council meeting during a telephone interview last week. The agenda is prepared in time for a legal notice published on Friday.

Also scheduled for Tuesday night's council meeting are some routine matters and some needed for continued staffing of the city's industrial development efforts.

They include consideration of:

An agreement with CSX concerning a railroad spur owned by the city on property owned by the railroad company. It's to provide a loading dock for some local businesses, or any that want to load and/or unload train cars.

Appointments of two new members of the city's Industrial Development Board. Five men's applications have been forwarded y the IDB.

A proposed ordinance that would change city code on the sign ordinance. It's a step that is rooted in political candidates' signage.

A second vote to on the city's Occupational Safety and Health Program. A public hearing on this pending ordinance is scheduled to begin at 5:50 p.m., or 10 minutes before the regular starting time for the council's regularly scheduled meeting.