Following a special called meeting Monday at 5:00pm, the Angier Board of Commissioners and Mayor Lew Weatherspoon formally asked Town Manager Coley Price to resign.
Coley tendered his resignation to the board and mayor effective immediately.
In January, the newly elected Board, including Ward 1 Commissioner Lori Boyer and Ward 3 Commissioner Mike Hall, voted to give Coley a massive to-do list.
The mandate also prohibited Price from signing or authorizing any checks over $2,500. Going forward, all payroll and town expense checks had to be signed by the finance director and mayor, not Mr. Price.
The list also suggested residents in Angier come to the town with questions or concerns and never get an answer. The “to do” list required Price to respond in writing to anyone asking questions or expressing a concern and to report on the concern at the next town board meeting.
In a prepared statement on Tuesday from the Board and Mayor Weatherspoon, they stated, “In hopes of providing the citizens of Angier with complete transparency, the contract approved by the previous board (former commissioners Alvis McKoy and Jerry Hockaday, and current commissioners Craig Honeycutt and Robert Smith) affords Mr. Price very generous benefits and a extremely generous severance package. While the contract will cost the town a considerable amount, we feel this new direction will boost morale among town employees, foster a more fruitful relationship with the Board and help move the town in a positive direction for the future.”
Coley Price was first hired as the assistant Angier town administrator in Nov. 1996 and in Jan. 2003 was named town administrator. In 2005, Angier amended its Charter to become a Council-Manager form of government and Price’s title was changed from Administrator to Manager. He was currently making just under $95,000 per year plus health care and benefits. He was also receiving $400 per month for a car allowance.
Under an updated July 2017 employment contract signed by the prior Board of Commissioners, Price will receive one month of severance for every year he has worked since 2003 plus benefits if terminated without just cause. If terminated for cause, the Town will not pay any salary or benefits. The action taken Monday night is considered without just cause. It could cost Angier taxpayers as much as $118,750 to fulfill the severance clause of the contract.
The Angier Board of Commissioners will hold another special called meeting today (Tuesday) at 5:00pm.