Town Manager Kim Callis’ resignation was announced at the Council meeting on Monday night in a letter read by Mayor Dean Marion. 

The letter stated that, as of June 30, he was stepping down from his position as Town Manager due to a recent shoulder surgery and the lengthy recovery process “requiring a great deal of medical treatment and time away from work over the next several months”. 

He will be using workman’s compensation leave and partial time off (PTO) to recover until his last day as Town Manager. Callis said that it had been a privilege to serve the community for almost 23 years and working with many people to contribute to the betterment of the town. 

Vernon Oakley said that the Council was “saved” by the Town Manager’s resignation. 

He said that the Mayor and Council were there to “make policy, cut ribbons, smile, and look pretty” but they had “no authority under the Town Charter”. He asked who would take over the day to day responsibilities of the Town Manager; a job he said could not be handled by a “fill in”.

“We need a Town Manager and we had a great Town Manager but with undercurrent that went on by some of you. I would love to call out the South Hill five but I’m being respectful. We need someone of that caliber.” 

He finished by asking Council to write down and familiarize themselves with Virginia Code 24.2-233, which refers to the “removal of elected and certain appointed officers by courts”.

Moss made a motion to appoint Mayor Dean Marion as the acting Town Manager until a permanent replacement has been chosen. 

Joseph Taylor opposed the motion due to concerns about the more procedural role of being elected Mayor. 

“The thought that the Council, even on a temporary basis, even in the unlikelyhood that it would happen, would name the current Mayor as acting Town Manager, someone who could actually end up breaking tie votes pertaining to the administration of the town, is an inherent conflict of interest. One that I believe is foolish to set ourselves up to endure, rather it would happen on a rare occasion or multiple occasions. It is a rare feat for a public body to put itself in an intentional position of creating and executing a conflict. I say this with all due respect to my friend the Mayor, who I would wish to shield from both the administrative and political impact of that conflict.”

Marion was appointed acting Town Manager with yes votes from Hardee, Honeycutt, Luster, Moss, and Smith. Taylor and Feggins-Boone voted against the motion. Mike Moody was not present.