Five administrators hold position during the last year
For the third time in a year, the Village of Marvin needs a new administrator. Just three months into the job, Justin Price announced his resignation in a terse email sent to village council members early Monday, Oct. 17.
By 10 a.m., Price had collected his belongings and left town.
“I was surprised to get an email at 9:30 in the morning, announcing his resignation effective immediately,” Councilman Anthony Burman said. “I was genuinely surprised.”
Incidental to Price’s departure, the council had a special meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. later on Monday. The agenda published Friday, Oct. 14, cited the North Carolina statute authorizing a closed session to “consider the qualifications, competence, performance, fitness, and conditions of (prospective) employees.”
State statutes protect employee privacy as town officials are prohibited from discussing specifics of a closed session or the circumstances that may have led to Price’s exit. Typically, prior to the departure of a high-ranking staff member, the terms of a severance package, often stipulated in the employment contract are negotiated, agreed upon and signed. Price left before this occurred and it remains unclear whether any severance is forthcoming. Price’s contract stipulated a four-week severance in case of involuntary termination.
“I regret he felt compelled to resign,” Councilmember Ross Overby said. “I wish him luck in the future and I appreciate the time and effort he invested in Marvin.”
Price previously served as the assistant town manager and planning director for the town of Troy, in Montgomery County. He held that position for approximately a year.
The Village of Marvin has experienced a high turnover rate of permanent employees. Three administrators have resigned since October 2010, eight employees in total have either resigned or been laid off since December 2009.
Last October, Mary Jo Gollnitz who served for 23 months as administrator, resigned. This started a succession of interim and permanent administrators, beginning with Terri Patton who was then a councilwoman, followed by former State Sen. Fern Shubert who served as interim until the council hired Patton as the administrator in January 2011. Conditional to her employment, Patton resigned her seat on the council, which went vacant until Lanny Openshaw was appointed in August.
In May, Patton resigned from the administrator position in the midst of the ongoing planning and renovation of Marvin’s new park. Lisa Thompson, the village planner served as interim administrator until the council hired Justin Price in July and will again serve as interim until his replacement is found.
Marvin’s staff consists of an administrator, a clerk, a land use planner, finance officer, tax officer and part-time administrative assistants. Besides the newly open administrator position, the Village is looking to fill the tax officer position as well.
“We have 75 percent of a great team in place,” Mayor pro tem Ron Salimao said, “and we will endeavor to find the last 25 percent to complete the team.”
On Saturday, Oct. 22, the Village of Marvin will host a “Park Preview Party” to introduce Marvin-Eford Park to the community. The park is located at 8909 Newtown Road and will be open from 2 to