SMYRNA, Tenn. – Mark O’Neal resigned Tuesday, ending 11 years as town manager of Smyrna.
His resignation follows 21 years of employment with Rutherford County’s second largest municipality of more than 40,000 residents.
“I am very proud of the accomplishments of our Town during my tenure as town manager,” O’Neal said in his resignation letter.
The letter was forwarded to new Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed, newly appointed Vice Mayor Marc Adkins, plus council members Rick Wise, Tim Morrell, Lance Lee, Paul Johns and H.G. Cole. Reed acknowledged the resignation, saying, “There are no hard feelings.”
“We asked that (O’Neal) not resign,” Reed said.
Wise was recently appointed earlier this month to fill Adkins’ council slot after he stepped up as vice mayor when Reed replaced Tony Dover, who recently resigned the mayor’s post, citing personal family responsibilities.
O’Neal described recent “conversations” regarding the Smyrna Town Council’s desire for a “fresh set of eyes” in the role of town manager.
“I’m grateful for the many encouraging comments and complements that have been expressed to me during these discussions,” O’Neal said.
He explained his resignation further.
“While I very much appreciate the offer to step down into the director of utilities position, I believe that such a move at this time is not in the best interest of my family, or the town,” O’Neal added. “I do understand that this change is about new ideas in the management of the town and is not disciplinary in nature.”
Sources within Smyrna Town Hall estimated that O’Neal, age 51, would have received a cut in excess of $30,000 from what he was paid as town manager.