Thomasville council approves severance package for city manager

Thomasville council approves severance package for city manager

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Change is coming to the city of Thomasville.

During this last election, two new council members were elected into office.

"I hope this is the last time we will have a campaign conducted in this way," said Councilmember Don Sims

"The way this election was handled is just not Thomasville I don't know how to put it any other way," said Councilmember Jay Flowers.

This change in leadership has caught the attention of many folks in the community.

"People have been on the city council for a long period of time, now this council is changing. That's what our democratic system is when people go to vote things change" said Mayor Greg Hobbs.

Part of that change includes two high ranking city officials resigning from their positions.

Assistant City Manager Jerry Pionessa cited the election results as the reason behind his resignation.

Now as of Monday \night, the City Manager, Steve Sykes, who also serves as the utilities director could be gone as well.

"It's with a lot of sadness and a great deal of respect that I make a motion that we give the approval to the mayor to sign a severance agreement with the city manager Steve Sykes," said Councilmember Max Beverly.

In one part of the agreement, Sykes would receive $25,000 contingent upon his resignation effective Dec. 31.

The second part authorizes paying Sykes $55,000 on or before December 31 for his performance in 2017, also contingent upon his resignation.

"I know this has been a very contentious time, it has been a very negative time which is unusual for the City of Thomasville. I'm sorry you had to endure that. Jerry Pionessa you as well." said Sims.

"Steve I think you've done a great job and I hate that this is going on at this point," said Flowers.

Before the night was over some of the council members had one last message for the community members in attendance.

"This has been a tough night for us. We are dealing with things that are a real struggle. I'm going to be here for another two years. I am going to get along with our new guys and do the very best for our city." said Flowers.

Kha Thomas, the senior assistant city manager and human resources/community relations, was named interim city manager, effective January 1.

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