Stop by for breakfast at Blue Ridge Restaurant or lunch at the Floyd Country Store this weekend and conversation is dominated by the town’s decision to hire fired and tainted Christiansburg Town Manager Lance Terpenny for the same job here.
The tenor of the conversation is usually the same:
“What is the Floyd Town Council thinking?”
There’s some talk of a petition to remove Mayor Will Griffin and other members of the town council.
Meanwhile, some Christiansburg residents express relief at getting ride of Terpenny while offering condolences to Floyd residents.
“Good luck, you’re doing to need it,” is the kind of comments we have received over the last couple of days.
Floyd interviewed Terpenny once and offered him the job the next day even though dozens of other applicants also sought the post. From what we understand, they knew of his backroom dealings with Christiansburg Town Council that allowed him to leave the job with an extra 130 grand of taxpayer money.
The Roanoke Times, in an editorial, summed up Terpenny’s departure from Christiansburg pretty well:
Christiansburg Town Council’s decision to offer outgoing Town Manager Lance Terpenny a generous severance package is both inexplicable and outrageous.
While council had unwisely been debating offering Terpenny a three-year contract (the initial version of which would have guaranteed him payment for every day of the contract even if council let him go), Terpenny had been looking for a new job.
When council members found out Terpenny wanted to end his employment with the city, they should have simply thanked him for his services and offered good wishes for his future endevours.
It was undoubtedly time for Terpenny to go. But council did not need to give him a pile of cash on his way out the door. Council members need to either explain this decision better or rescind it.
Times columnist and blogger Dan Casey asks:
Question: who gets a $130,000 in taxpayer-funded severance in return for leaving and taking a new job elsewhere?
That works out to $7.65 for every man, woman and child in Christiansburg. The town could probably hire three cops and pay them for a year for that amount.
Floyd’s residents should, at the very least, demand accountability from their town government.