DOBSON — County Manager Dennis Thompson will step down from the county’s top administrative post effective July 31.
The announcement came as the Board of County Commissioners convened their regular bimonthly meeting Monday night at the County Administration Building in Dobson.
In a letter of resignation to the Board, Thompson noted that his contract was extended in 2009 for a two-year stint at the helm of the county, and that contract was renewed last year.
“I believe that our workloads and other considerations give me the opportunity to retire as Surry County Manager on July 31, 2012, with minimum disruption to the business of county government,” he wrote in the letter. “Therefore, I respectfully request that you accept my resignation…”
He is voluntarily resigning from his post, and gave the Board 60 days notice of his intent to leave during the meeting, noting that he feels he has achieved the goals he set for himself when he was rehired by the Board.
“We will complete our budget work in June, and I will use the month of July to complete any final assignments for the Board, and finish any remaining work with the department heads,” he noted in his letter.
Thompson served as county manager from 1985 until 2004. He returned to the post in September, 2008, at the request of the Commissioners.
At that time, he worked under a two-year contract.
In 2011, the contract was renewed with the stipulation that he could leave the position with 60 days notice.
“When I returned to Surry County in 2008, the mission that I set for myself was to help the Board to provide conservative, efficient government in (sic) behalf of Surry County’s 74,000 citizens. I believe the Surry County team achieves this mission every day,” Thompson wrote.
During the meeting, Thompson said he is proud of the work he has accomplished, and said he owed a lot to the “excellent working relationship” between county staff and elected officials.
“A person is truly blessed when he has the opportunity to work for and with five good friends,” he said.
The Commissioners accepted Thompson’s resignation, albeit reluctantly.
“I don’t think that I’ve ever witnessed a better county manager in my life, and I’ve worked with several,” said Vice Chairman Garry Scearce.
It was a sentiment echoed by all five commissioners.
“I can truly say that I’ve never worked with anyone more professional, helpful and with an earnest desire to serve the citizens of Surry County,” said long-time Board member Paul Johnson, who noted that he’s seen Thompson’s resignation letters before. “But this time, I know you’re going to stick to it, so congratulations. I accept your resignation very reluctantly, but wish you the very best.”
But “all is not lost,” Thompson added.
North Carolina law stipulates that the elected Commissioners can appoint an interim county manager, promote an existing staff member to the post, or start a formal search for a permanent replacement.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.