BRISTOL, Va. - In a special called meeting that lasted less than ten minutes, Bristol, Virginia city manager Dewey Cashwell stepped away from his job Friday morning.
Cashwell and council members both describe the departure as a mutual decision. "It was a mutual decision reached with members of the council," says Cashwell.
"I think it was a mutual agreement," says councilwoman Catherine Brillhart. "Mr. Cashwell is a great promoter of economic development in our city and worked well with city council."
In accepting Cashwell's resignation, the city council voted 4-to-1 to double the six-month severance package outlined in his one-year contract, which was set to expire June 30.
Mayor Jim Steele voted 'no'. "I don't believe in this. I thought we should go back to Monday vote up or down if he gets six months' severance package. I think the taxpayers of Bristol have paid out enough money," said Mayor Steele.
Cashwell says the decision to leave the post was based partly on a desire to spend more time with his family.
Mayor Steele says members of city council decided not to continue with Cashwell a couple of weeks ago and the decision was primarily based on personality differences. "We just felt like there were some things that went on and we needed to change, put a new face in there, someone that can get out and really get along with the people," says Steele.
While his time in Bristol, Virgnia is over, he says he would consider another job locally. "There are some jobs pretty close by to here I would like to get some consideration for as well," says Cashwell.
He is proud of his accomplishments as city manager, and says he's leaving the city finances in a better situation than when he arrived in town almost three years ago.
The city council is set to hold is reorganization meeting Monday.
Council members are expected to name an interim city manager at that time while they work on the process to find a replacement.
In the meantime, the two assistant city managers are in charge until an interim city manager is named.
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