Summerville, South Carolina – Summerville town administrator has been fired over the weekend and locals are more than upset because of this decision. The town council decided to cut the contract with Rebecca Vance in a 5-1 vote by the members. According to the town announcement, this was a mutual decision. But local residents ask the council was it really?
“Basically, one paragraph and that was it,” said Summerville resident Don Johnson, referencing the press release issued by the town regarding Vance’s firing. “Maybe two paragraphs at the most. I don’t know why they let her go and then wished her the best, on top of that. It sends mixed messages.”
First of all, the ‘special’ meeting took place on Saturday, something that probably never happened before. Second thing is that the meeting was not streamed online. The third thing is that the meeting was held on Juneteenth, which is now considered a federal holiday. Johnson added considering all these things it seems pretty odd.
“Don’t see where she was doing anything wrong, but I don’t know all of the innerworkings of the town,” Johnson said. “I think we should. I think it should be made very public why she was let go.”
Vance was appointed on the position in January 2020. According to her contract, she should have been on that position for four years ending her term in 2024. Local residents are not furious, and they are probably right, because tax payers ended up paying the price.
Vance will receive a lump sum payment in an amount equal to the gross salary and benefits she would have received in the next 180 days. In money, this means she will receive at least $81,000 plus all the benefits she had on the position. This includes annual or sick leave and/or health insurance.
“If that was a negotiation in her contract, then I guess they would abide by the contract,” Young said. “But to me, I don’t think that’s right. I really don’t.”
“It’s a little concerning that somebody who — from all intents and purposes, as far as I know — was doing a great job and now she’s not here, and we would like to know why,” said Johnson.
The council should have met again on Monday to discuss the ongoing operations for the upcoming period until new administrator is appointed. However, it didn’t happen because three members were unable to attend the meeting. New meeting should take place by the end of this week.