Fred Carpenter, Payson's town manager since August 2002, resigned at last night's council meeting.
Mayor Bob Edwards denied rumors that Carpenter chose to resign over being fired.
"That's not the case," he said. "No one asked me to get Fred to retire."
Edwards said that Carpenter had been considering retirement for quite some time.
"Fred's been talking about (retirement) for a year now," he said. "We sat down and chatted with him about it -- that's it. Fred's been around government for a long time. He's qualified for retirement. It's nothing more than that."
Edwards also denied that anyone on the council had issues with Carpenter.
"No one on the council dislikes him," he said.
Carpenter declined to give a reason for his resignation, only saying that he was privileged to work with "great staff" throughout his tenure.
"It's been one of the greatest experiences of my life to work with the town," he said. "I hope to encounter many of you in years to come."
The council accepted Carpenter's resignation "with gratitude for conscientious service to the town."
"Thank you, Fred," Edwards said. The council, staff and audience members followed with applause.
Carpenter and the town had a mutual agreement to sever Carpenter's contract.
"It was a mutual parting of the ways," he said. "Everyone's happy."
Some of the stipulations of the severance include Carpenter's last day to be Sept. 28, that he receive salary and benefits until April 2008 as a consultant to the town, and that any unused sick or vacation time will be paid out to him next year.
The resignation will take effect at the end of September.
The council unanimously approved the acceptance of his resignation and appointed Debi Galbraith, the town's chief fiscal officer since June, as his replacement as interim town manager.
Galbraith will begin her duties Oct. 1.
In other news, the council voted:
- To postpone the disbursement of public purpose funds in the amount of $23,400 for the Payson Senior Center until the next meeting.
- Unanimously to approve a traffic-calming manual for the town. The manual includes a process for the implementation of devices such as speed humps, striping and roundabouts.
- To direct the Recycling Task Force and town staff to come back at a future meeting with an official resolution regarding changes to the recycling program in town.
The town has the opportunity to work with the county for the augmentation of a recycling program, including new recycling bins and a new hauling truck.