Described by colleagues as a progressive, big picture thinker and hard worker, Ed Burchins said his decision to resign Tuesday was difficult.
“I have enjoyed working with all of our city employees and I especially enjoyed working with the citizens of Laurinburg,” Burchins said following the announcement.
According to city staff and council members, the feelings are mutual.
In a statement signed by the entire city council, Mayor Tommy Parker thanked Burchins for his “dedicated public service,” saying that Burchins “worked tirelessly and effectively to make the city a better place to live.”
Councilman Kenton Spencer said that Burchins was an upstanding man who did a good job solving many of the problems that faced the city when he was hired.
Brought on in July of 2009 Burchins was instrumental in the advancement of the ongoing automated meter reading project.
“There are other good practices that we weren’t doing before he got here too,” Spencer said.
Most recently, Burchins oversaw the creation of an employee advisory council. The product of an effort to boost employee morale spearheaded by Burchins, the employee group met for the first time this year to give feedback to management and city council.
City staff members said that Burchins sent out an e-mail informing some of his decision to resign before Tuesday’s official announcement.
Burchins decided to resign effective at midnight at Tuesday. He said he was leaving for personal reasons and did not elaborate.
“He will be missed,” said former City Clerk Dee Hammond on Wednesday.
According to recently-hired human resources manager Amy Martin, Burchins is scheduled to sign his severance package Thursday at 10 a.m. Once that document has been signed, the details will be available, Martin said.
The terms of the severance were negotiated in the days prior to Burchins’ departure, according to Parker.
Burchins, who will continue to live in Laurinburg, is expected to continue to assist the city on an as-needed basis as a consultant.
“(Burchins) will be available to us to answer questions because there are a few things that will crop up that nobody knows about except Ed,” Parker said. “That is just part of the (severance) agreement.”
Newly appointed interim City Manager Harold Haywood is expected to remain at that post until 2013, according to Parker.
“We will call the state (League of Municipalities) office and let them know that we have a vacancy and ask them for a list of possible interim candidates,” Parker said.
“Harold has a job to do and we would like to (get him back to it) by the first of the year and work out an agreement with someone to serve as a stop-gap interim until we can hire a permanent city manager.”
Haywood currently serves as general services director for the city.
The mayor said that Haywood was considered for the job along with several other candidates.
After being sworn in, Haywood pledged to give 100 percent to the job and took the opportunity to praise the city’s staff.
“We have excellent department heads, front line supervisors and employees, which make up a wonderful group, and I am confident we can all come together and get the job done and keep the ball rolling,” Haywood said.
Parker said that Haywood was chosen because of his knowledge of city projects and because of his management skill.
“We chose Harold because he is a good organizer and is knowledgeable of most of our projects. he’s calm, and we felt like he was a good choice.”