Lewisville planner becomes interim manager again: Stacy Tolbert moves up to fill vacancy created by resignation of James Ayers

Published 12:10 am Thursday, March 21, 2024

LEWISVILLE — For the second time in less than two years, Stacy Tolbert has added the title of interim manager along with being the planner for the town of Lewisville.

Following the resignation of James Ayers, who became the latest town manager in November 2022 before announcing March 1 that he was taking early retirement from local government service (effective April 1), Tolbert was unanimously appointed interim manager in last Thursday night’s town council meeting.

Tolbert, who has been the planner in Lewisville since December 2018, took on the extra duties as interim manager the first time after Hank Perkins left his post in May 2022 after 10 years to take a similar position as the town manager in Lake Lure.

At that time, Mayor Mike Horn made the motion to extend the interim manager opportunity to Tolbert with a monthly supplement in addition to her regular salary as town planner.

“She would by wearing two hats — the planner’s hat and also interim manager’s hat — so this would be in addition to her duties as planner,” Horn explained.

Later in the year, when Ayers was hired to replace Perkins, it was announced that Tolbert was being promoted to assistant town manager and planning director.

Ayers said that Tolbert “demonstrated her outstanding leadership skills as interim town manager” and that he looked forward to her “taking on additional strategic priorities” in her new position.

So, it was a logical progression for Tolbert to be elevated to interim manager again. After a discussion about the timetable for if and when that position should be appointed along with salary requirements, Mayor Pro Tem Melissa Hunt made the motion “to consider Stacy Tolbert as the interim manager. She took that role when we had a vacancy prior, and I feel like she really stepped up during that time and did a great job for the town.”

Hunt called for an effective date of April 1, and Horn added the pay to be considered with the previous directive when Tolbert was appointed. The motion passed unanimously.

Horn said after the resignation of Ayers that Lewisville “will take as much time as needed to make the best decision for our town, staff and residents regarding the hiring of our next manager.”

Along with looking forward, the council also took time to pause for a break for cake and refreshments and to offer their thanks for the job done by Ayers — after council comments praising his professionalism, attention to detail, communication, coordination and collaboration with other organizations, and that he would missed greatly.

Council member Jane Welch said that she had served with several town managers and that “he was the outstanding one.” Another veteran council member, Ken Sadler, said that “when I saw the announcement, my reaction at the time was that it was unexpected and unfortunate, but we wish James well for his dedication and service to the community and hope that he and his family enjoy his retirement.”

In another item of much interest on the agenda, the developers for the proposed Shallowford Road Golf Driving Range requested continuing public hearings involving rezoning and annexation to August while awaiting further information from an engineer.

Meanwhile, two residents approached the podium before that action was taken to express their concerns over the project, including frustration over getting information and that this project didn’t fit the “careful planning” that is characteristic for Lewisville.

The council deliberated about waiting so long before this item comes back before the board but ultimately voted 4-3 in favor with Horn, Hunt and council member Jane Welch opposed.

There was also a list of names appointed to various boards in last Thursday night’s meeting, including:

  • Parks Recreation and Cultural Development: Stewart Chamberlin, Elizabeth Johnson, Braden Romer
  • Planning: Lynn Fulton, Tom Lawson, Mark Maready
  • Willow Run Municipal Service District, Area 1: Martin Beale
  • Willow Run Municipal Service District, Area 2: Kirk Rieger
  • Willow Run Municipal Service District, Area 4: Denise Criss
  • Zoning Board of Adjustments: Drew Flannigan, Brian Gravely

There was another list of the following members appointed to committees:

  • Beautification: Kim Floyd, Carolyn Fulton, Cynthia Kiger, Sonsera Kiger, Ellen Lee, Susan Linker, Bernice Perzel, Christi Ritter 
  • Environmental Conservation & Sustainability: Chelsea Blount, Jennifer Haydon, Barbara Hudgens, Gretchen Roberts, Kenneth Scales, Kay Smitherman, Robert Smitherman, Henry Fansler
  • Public Art Advisory Committee: John Armbruster

In other highlights from last Thursday night’s meeting, the council:

  • Approved a rezoning request by Michael Todd, 903 Forge Way, to rezone property from RS-20 to RS-9. In the planning board report, it was stated that the intent of the request is to allow for smaller lot dimensions, and that if approved, a portion of the property would be sold and combined with a neighboring property. 
  • Announced the approval of directing the town clerk to investigate an annexation petition for 2065 Glenn Ferry Court as the first formal step in the process after receiving a petition from a property owner to voluntarily annex a property into the town. 
  • Approved accepting the gifting of remnant property at the intersection of Lewisville-Vienna Road and Robinhood Road, and conveying the property to the Town of Lewisville.
  • Approved a resolution for the abandonment of 225 feet at the end of Plemmons Road.
  • Heard from Ayers that there will be a blood drive on Wednesday, April 10, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mary Alice Warren Community Center.
  • Heard from Ayers that Lewisville Earth Day will be held on Saturday, April 13, starting at 9 a.m. at Shallowford Square.