Mocksville manager threatens to leave if board member doesn’t back off

Published 12:38 pm Monday, February 1, 2021

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Lynn Trivette is serious about her job as Mocksville’s interim town manager.

But she’s had enough.

Trivette withdrew her name from consideration for the permanent town manager’s job last week, citing phone calls from board member Amy Vaughan-Jones.

“I was talked to unprofessionally, disrespectfully and I have felt bullied in some phone calls,” she said in a note to board members. “I feel undeserving of such conduct after trying to manage four positions along with my efforts of making good decisions for the town.

“I have gone beyond the call of duty to do the best job I know how and it seems never good enough,” she wrote. “I will continue to serve the board as a whole until you find a replacement – unless I feel mistreated again.”

Vaughan-Jones said she had never disrespected or bullied Trivette, but only asked questions. She went on to say that she was the board member who requested Trivette be included in town manager candidates to make it to the interview process.

“She totally lost it,” Vaughan-Jones said about one of her telephone calls to Trivette.

The questions, she said, centered around an unannounced state audit, a post on the town’s social media site promoting socialism, problems with untended markers at Rose Cemetery, and a police internal investigation stemming from a party for former Chief Pat Reagan last year in which an officer gave Reagan toilet paper with her face on it, that of another police department critic, and two former officers, one of whom has sued the town.

“She lied to me,” Vaughan-Jones said. “I don’t fit into the good old boy system. I am not to blame for all of this. All I do is ask questions.”

Mayor Will Marklin said the  field of potential town manager candidates is dwindling quickly. The town had narrowed the field to eight candidates for in-person interviews, but five of those withdrew their names. It’s down to three, and he hopes those interviews will begin soon.

He realizes it is tough. A simple internet search of the town’s government reveals past problems.

“Until we have each town board member working with and respecting the town manager and not pushing their own agenda – we will be dealing with turnover and the need to hold interviews for manager on an annual basis,” he said. “This is unfortunate and the pool of qualified managers is dwindling. We knew the search process would be difficult because we have had so many managers in such a short period of time.”

Trivette, the town’s finance officer, said she regrets having to withdraw her name from consideration, but sees no other course of action. “I told you all that I take my oath seriously and I would follow policy and procedure and seek guidance to make decisions for the town.”