Lance Terpenny: So many questions, so few answers

The controversy over new Floyd Town Manager Lance Terpenny’s lucrative departure from his former job in Christiansburg just won’t die.

Some angry Christiansburg Town Council members say they were kept in the dark about just how much money the town would be paying out in severance for the town manager they fired last month and they want to “clear the air” at a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

Councilwoman Ann Carter, whose term on the council ends at the end of August, told The Roanoke Times “we certainly not aware” that Terpenny’s severance would cost the town more than $290,000 over the next decade.

The payouts include:

  • 2 months of salary ($128,750);
  • A $12,627.60 payout for accrued vacation time;
  • $210 a month in town-paid “service merit” payments until he turns 65 (Terpenny is 55);
  • “Sick leave divestiture” of $1,050.66 a month for 10 years because of unused sick leave.

Terpenny hasn’t moved to Floyd and his deal with his new employers apparently does not require him to relocate. He continues to live in Christiansburg and will continue to serve on two Montgomery County agencies that provide additional stipends that pay him about $700 a month. Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority Executive Director Alan Cummins admits Terpenny is paid $350 a month from fees earned by the authority to attend a board meeting and serve as board chairman.

Incredibly, the same Christiansburg Town Council that told Terpenny to resign, saying it has “lost confidence” in his abilities, then reappointed him to serve on the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-VPI Water Authority where his paid at least $300 a month to attend board meetings.

It’s these kinds of backroom deals, along with Floyd’s willingness to look the other way at continuing conflicts of interest, that raise serious questions about the entire Terpenny deal that brought him from Virgnia’s third-largest town to one of the Commonwealth’s smallest.

While, on the surface at least, it seems like a good deal to get a Town Manager with Terpenny’s experience, his continued involvement with Montgomery County government entities suggests he will be — at best — a part-time manager with conflicting loyalties.

It also suggests the Floyd Town Council was played or — even worse — was complicit in a shady deal.

Enhanced by Zemanta