Yesterday the Town Manager of Smyrna Tennessee resigned his position. The press release included the entirety of his letter of resignation so I am not hesitant to publish it here for your reading.
Mark O'Neal has had a hard job the last many years due to the economy of the nation going to hell. There is no better phrase to describe it. The period when Sam Ridley Blvd. was growing at a frantic pace is long past, and with the slow down of everything his job became harder and harder. I do not envy him working with less and less resources every month.
I am going to have some comments later this afternoon on the resignation and some other discussions I have had elsewhere after I write them up and polish them, but I thought this might give you some material to think about.
Honorable Town Council:
As you are all aware, during the past few weeks, Mayor Reed and Vice-Mayor Adkins, along with several other members of the Council, have had conversations with me regarding the Council’s desire for a “fresh set of eyes” in the role of Town Manager. I do understand that this change is about new ideas in the management of the Town and is not disciplinary in nature. I am grateful for the many encouraging comments and complements that have been expressed to me during these discussions. While I very much appreciate the offer to step down into the Director of Utilities position, I believe that such a move at this time is not in the best interest of my family or the Town.
Therefore, as per Section 8, Items (1) and (2) of my Employment Agreement with the Town of Smyrna executed on April 10, 2004, I am terminating the “Employment Agreement for Good Reason”. I am requesting the entitled severance benefits as detailed in Section 6. In addition, as per the Employment
Agreement, this letter shall serve as the required thirty (30) day notice of the termination of said Agreement. In order to assist in an efficient transition, I am offering to continue my employment as Town Manager past the thirty (30) day notice date, either through January 3, 2014, or until such time as the Town Council has employed my successor, whichever shall occur first. The ability to continue in this role, however, is contingent upon my availability in regards to other future employment opportunities with other employers.
It has been a great privilege to serve my hometown for 21 years in several capacities, including the past 11 years as Town Manager. I am very proud of the accomplishments of our Town over my tenure as Town Manager. There are many milestones that come to mind, too many to list in this correspondence. Our Town has continued to grow and prosper because of the unity of focus of citizens, businesses, Town employees and leaders. We have made great improvements to Town services and facilities. I believe a large majority of the credit for these improvements should be given to the employees of the Town of Smyrna.
Our employees work hard everyday to provide quality services to our citizens. It has been an honor to be associated with such a wonderful group of employees. I want to express my profound gratitude to Kevin Arnold, Jeff Craig, Bill Culbertson, Rex Gaither, David King, Robert Kulp, John Lanza, Hal Loflin, Mike Moss, Jeff Peach, Kevin Rigsby, Steve Smith and Dianne Waldron, the most dedicated group of Directors/Department Heads I have ever known. It has been a tremendous pleasure leading these talented professionals. In addition, I am indebted to Roseanne Peppers and Holly Earls who have provided me with exemplary administrative support. They work tirelessly day in and day out to provide our citizens with great service and advise in our Administration Department.
To each of you, thank you for the opportunity serve with you. I appreciate your commitment to the citizens of the Town and count each of you as friends. I pray that God blesses you and your families as you continue to serve the Town of Smyrna.
Mark T. O’Neal