LEESBURG – Monday morning, the discussion which started with a proposal to evaluate and adjust the salaries of Lee County Public works employees took an unexpected turn with Co-County Manager Michael Sistrunk announcing his resignation.
During the past few months, the discussion which was initiated with the possibility of adjusting the salaries of employees of the Lee County Public Works Department led to the adjustment of the compensation for a variety of County Employees. Those include Public Works Department employees with CDL’s, EMS, Fire and 911 operators receiving a boost in compensation, the majority of Public Works employees was not addressed.
For Sistrunk the final straw came when he said that Commission Chairman Billy Mathis reached out to the county’s finance director requesting that a raise be initiated that was not in accordance with the motion approved by the Commission at their previous meeting.
Sistrunk has served in a variety of capacities in Lee County for eighteen years including general supervisor, public works manager, and his current role as co-county manager for the past 5 years. The following is his letter of resignation to the Lee County Board of Commissioners:
22nd February 2021
Board of Commissioners
102 Starksville Ave N
Leesburg, Georgia 31763
Dear Board of Commissioners and Co-County Manager, Christi Dockery,
It is with a heavy heart that I inform the Board of Commissioners of my resignation as Co-County Manager and Public Works Director. I am giving a 90-day notice and my leave will start Friday, May 21, 2021.
For 18 years, I have dedicated my life to the Lee County citizens and all of our employees. My heart and passion has always been to serve our community to the best of my ability, using my best judgement and integrity to protect those that I manage as well.
On multiple occasions, my position has been threatened and belittled by Commissioner Billy Mathis. In many instances, he has acted unprofessionally in his role towards management and employees and his latest request went against the morals of my position. The most recent occurrence of this issue was when Commissioner Mathis reached out to our Finance Director and requested an immediate $2 raise to paramedics, which was not what was voted in on Feb 9, 2021.
When alerted to this decision, both co-managers stated that it would increase payroll by thousands of dollars and the board would have to approve. We reached out to Commissioner Mathis and he blamed staff for a failure that did not exist.
Multiple situations, very similar to this, have happened frequently since Commissioner Mathis has been in this role and it compromises management and employee relationships. I feel that he uses his position to be intimidating and condescending to not only myself, but to my team. These in person or phone call conversations are based on threats and loss of respect for his manager's decisions and it is for reasons like this that I must resign.
It has been my pleasure to work alongside the many great people in our community that I love. I will be leaving behind a stable, financial balance, great equipment and vehicles for safety and strong employees that I hope will continue to flourish in my absence.
My efforts until my end date, May 21, 2021 will be to wrap up our current projects: Resurfacing of Airport, Richardson, Glendale, Palmyra Subdivisions, the construction of the wall at landfill, and the construction of Pheasant extension and installation of backup generator in Tharpe building.
Michael T. Sistrunk
The Tuesday night meeting of the Commission will be proceeded by a called meeting of the Personnel Committee.