Chairman Judy Porter Poe, when posed with questions surrounding the circumstances of McMillan's resignation said, "People are making a lot to do about nothing. I very strongly disagree that there was any allegation that led to Dan's resignation."
McMillan's resignation letter was accepted by county commissioners 4-1 following an executive session during the regularly scheduled meeting.
Commissioners Judy Poe, William Sands, Gerald Price, and Gary Roark voted to accept the resignation, with Larry Rhodes the lone vote in opposition.
McMillan's letter said, "I am aware there are differences in the feelings of the direction that Ashe County should take in future endeavors and planning. I believe that there are too many good things that have been accomplished for the citizens of Ashe County to allow any disparity between me as county manager and the commissioners that could create future tensions."
The letter goes on to further say that "I am proud of the accomplishments that have been made for the past thirteen years and hope the commissioners continue to make such strides to improve our county in the future. With this said, I would tender my notice of resignation to be effective this 29th day of July, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. with the agreement of a severance package through Dec. 31, 2011"
McMillan’s resignation, official today, ends several days of speculation over the status of the county manager’s future as the lead administrator.
When McMillan was approached last week after it was learned there was a possibility he would soon be out of a job, his response last Thursday night was “I’m not exactly sure what’s going on. I know that the official commissioners meeting will be held Monday, and I’m sure they’ll bring up the subject then,” said McMillan when contacted Thursday evening about the rumor that he was out of a job.
Before it was learned McMillan was resigning, the Jefferson Post asked county commissioners about the alleged firing during the public comment period at Monday's regularly scheduled meeting. None of the commissioners responded.
Commissioners also named Dr. Patricia Mitchell as the new interim county manager during Monday’s meeting. Mitchell, the county’s current director of economic development, takes over as county head after six and half years in the previous position.
Mitchell holds doctorate degrees in public administration and finance from East Carolina University, and is a former assistant professor of political science at ECU.
Mitchell said she learned about the appointment as the interim county manager in “the past couple days.”
Mitchell said she would work hard to create a smooth transition during the changes in the county’s management.