Lewisville town manager resigns his position: James Ayers taking early retirement after 16 months on the job

Published 12:09 am Thursday, March 14, 2024

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James Ayers, who has been the town manager of Lewisville for just over 16 months, announced his resignation on March 1.

Ayers, who turned 61 last week, confirmed that he is taking early retirement from local government service, adding his effective retirement date is April 1.

Offering a quote, Ayers said, “I am grateful to the town council and the people of Lewisville for the opportunity to serve the local community. It has been an honor to work alongside the many dedicated town staff members, community volunteers and elected and appointed officials here in Lewisville.”

Mayor Mike Horn said, “We wish James the best of luck on his next life adventure. His contributions over the last two years to our town and residents, including the completion of our gateway project, advancing our road and sidewalk projects, successfully negotiating a number of important contracts and his leadership of our amazing staff are greatly appreciated.”

Ayers served as the director of community and economic development for the Foothills Regional Commission before coming to Lewisville in November 2022 and was the town manager of Manteo for nearly three years before that.

Horn said that Ayers, who was general services director for the City of Asheville from 2014 to 2019 and assistant town manager/director of engineering and public works for the Town of Bluffton from 2008 to 2014, emerged at the top of the list of final candidates after a comprehensive candidate search initiated by the Piedmont Triad Regional Council.

In fact, Horn added at the time that Ayers was “the unanimous choice of our council, and we are very much looking forward to the next chapter in our town.”
Before entering the public sector in 2008, Ayers spent the first half of his career in the private sector in a variety of roles — mostly related to project management, general management and land development — that actually prepared him for what was ahead.

Ayers replaced Hank Perkins, who left in May 2022 after 10 years as the town manager and was followed by Stacy Tolbert, who took on the role of interim town manager to go along with being the town planner.

Tolbert maintained “wearing two hats” until November 2022, when, in the first meeting with Ayers as the new manager, he announced that Tolbert was being promoted to assistant town manager to go along with her role as planning director.
Horn said that after being notified on the first day of March that Ayers would be retiring officially a month later, the council met in closed session following last Thursday’s briefing and agenda meeting to discuss how to proceed.

“We will continue that discussion in a closed session this Thursday,” Horn said of tonight’s council meeting. “I’m not sure when we will have any more information. However, be assured the council will not rush into a decision and take as much time as needed to make the best decision for our town, staff and residents regarding the hiring of our next manager.”