Smith hired as Farmville manager

Published 3:07 am Thursday, November 4, 2010

Contributing Editor

James C. Smith, Washington’s outgoing city manager, will become town manager of Farmville effective January 2011, according to Theresa Cieslinski, executive assistant and personnel director for the Town of Farmville.
Farmville’s Town Council voted 4-1 Tuesday night to hire Smith. Council members Larry Jacob Barrow, John Moore, John Baker and David Shackleford voted to hire Smith. Council member Jamin Dixon opposed the hiring. Mayor Robert L. Evans, who only votes to break tie votes, did not vote on the hiring.
Asked why he voted against hiring Smith, Dixon, by way of e-mail, replied, “I am sorry, I don’t have any comment regarding that. Thanks.”
Messages left for other Farmville officials and Smith — seeking their comments on Smith’s hiring — were not immediately responded to Wednesday.
Details of Smith’s contract with the town were not immediately available, and the contract had not been signed as of Wednesday morning, Cieslinski said. Contract details will be made public once the document has been executed, she said.
Washington pays Smith an annual salary of $110,353 a year.
Smith replaces Richard N. Hicks, who worked in Farmville since 1989. In June 2009, Hicks elected to retire at the end of his contract.
“Hicks had offered to renew his contract, which will expire at the end of February, 2010, with a $90,000 salary and a $12,000 expense payment,” reported a website, “After a closed session meeting, the town board returned an offer which would give Hicks a salary of $95,000 without the expense payment and only extend the contract through July 2010.”
“‘At that time,’ said Mayor Bobby Evans, ‘we will see where we are and go from there.’
“Hicks choose not to accept the offer and gave the commissioners a letter of resignation effective at the end of his current contract.”
Last month, Smith offered his resignation from the city manager’s job in Washington effective Jan. 1, 2011, and the City Council accepted that resignation. Smith’s resignation was announced in a news release issued Oct. 8.
Smith began working as Washington’s city manager Jan. 3, 2006.
The city and Smith have entered into a 21-page resignation and transition agreement that spells out what is expected of the city and Smith until his resignation takes effect. The agreement allows the city to terminate Smith before the effective resignation date “for good cause or at the discretion of the Council,” according to the document. Smith may terminate his employment with the city before Jan. 1, 2011, upon 30 days written notice, according to the agreement.
The City Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. today with plans to enter a closed session to discuss personnel and protect the attorney-client privilege.