Goldsboro’s travel and tourism director has resigned, making her the sixth of the city’s 16 department heads to leave the city during the past 10 months.
Ashlin Glatthar, who has served as the Goldsboro and Wayne County travel and tourism director since 2016, submitted her resignation Wednesday, said Bernadette Dove, Goldsboro human resources director. Glatthar’s last day is Oct. 22, Dove said.
“It has been an honor to use my skills to make a positive impact on Goldsboro, Wayne County over the last five years,” Glatthar said in an emailed statement.
She touted her accomplishments during her tenure with the city.
“From bringing quidditch to North Carolina for the first time to being a part of the opening of the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex and the Maxwell Center, we are evolving into a legitimate destination,” Glatthar said.
She cited the culture and direction of city leadership as a reason for her departure.
She is the second city department head to — directly or indirectly — state that the resignation is related to the work environment within city government.
“While there have been great strides during my time, I feel that the current direction and culture does not compliment my ability and desire to achieve continued growth for our area,” Glatthar said.
Glatthar said she still holds Goldsboro in high regard and wishes employees and residents well and said she looks forward to her next chapter, which includes a job with the N.C. League of Municipalities, a member-driven organization representing the interests of cities and towns in the state.
Glatthar starts her new job as a business development manager with the League on Nov. 1, said Scott Mooneyham, NCLM’s director of political communication and coordination.
Dove confirmed that 70 full-time employees have left the city within the last 12 months. Dove did not indicate if the number of resignations is normal within a 12-month period.
Tim Salmon, Goldsboro city manager, did not respond this week to at least two interview requests and did not provide any feedback regarding why the city’s top staff, which are part of his administrative team, have resigned in less than a year’s time.
All of the department directors work for the manager.
Salmon has also repeatedly declined to be interviewed by Goldsboro News Argus staff, with his last in-person interview taking place, alongside former mayor Chuck Allen, in November 2020.
Instead, Salmon has city staff email prepared statements from time to time.
Salmon’s recent statements regarding city leadership resignations, which include praises for work performed, have come through prepared statements Salmon has had LaToya Henry, the city’s public information officer, email to a News Argus reporter.
His statements regarding Glatthar’s departure are similar.
“I want to thank (Ashlin) Glatthar for her service to the city of Goldsboro and Wayne County,” Salmon wrote in a prepared statement emailed by Henry. “She has done an excellent job of bringing sports, food and other travel and tourism related activity to our area. She was also significantly involved in bringing the new hotel to the Maxwell Center.”
In August, Michael Wagner resigned from his post as the city’s public utilities director. He now works for the town of Fuquay-Varina as public utilities director. Wagner worked for the city since 2016 and as director since 2019. His last day was Sept. 12.
The city has yet to fill Wagner’s position but is advertising the job, with a salary range of $80,050 to $126,479.
Robert Sherman, a 27-year employee with the city, is working as interim public utilities director, the city website and personnel records show.
Also in August, Jennifer Collins, former Goldsboro planning director, resigned to take a job as a program manager for the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Highway Division 4, which encompasses Wilson, Wayne, Johnston, Nash, Edgecombe and Halifax counties.
Her official start date with DOT was Sept. 18. Collins worked for the city since 2009 and was promoted to planning director in 2018, Dove said.
Kenneth Talton, who has worked as the city’s assistant planning director, is the interim planning director.
In May, Melissa Capps, former Goldsboro city clerk, resigned to take a position as clerk to the Harnett County Board of Commissioners. Capps was hired to work for the city in 2005 as an office assistant and was promoted to city clerk in May 2007.
In June, she was replaced by former deputy clerk Laura Getz, public documents show.
In March, Joe Dixon, former Goldsboro fire chief, also resigned after working for the city close to three years. He is now the fire chief for the city of Gainesville, in Florida, and Gainesville Fire Rescue.
His replacement is Ronald Stempien, who assumed command of the department in June.
Stempien, a Goldsboro firefighter with nearly 30 years of experience, previously worked as assistant chief of support services with the Goldsboro Fire Department.
In December, Shycole Simpson-Carter, the city’s former community relations director since 2016, also resigned. Simpson-Carter worked for the city close to 10 years.
On Wednesday, Felicia Williams, the city’s previous community relations interim director was promoted to director, Dove said.
Williams, who has been with the city three years, has remained inaccessible for interviews for several months. Henry said Williams told her she does not feel comfortable talking to reporters.
Simpson-Carter has been the only former department leader who has been open to citing reasons for her departure, which she delayed close to a month after questioning if the programs her office manages could be handled by other city staff.
Her resignation followed on the heels of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency decision to suspend $725,000 in grant funding due to the city not submitting its 2019 fiscal audit on time. The audit was 19 months late when it was turned in to the N.C. Local Government Commission, which oversees fiscal matters, including bond financing requests, for the city.
The city’s 2020 fiscal audit was due in January and is also late. LGC staff have said city borrowing requests will likely be denied due to the delayed audits.
When Simpson-Carter resigned, she said she had reached her “breaking point.” She wrote a scathing resignation letter accusing Salmon of micromanaging employees, being a poor communicator and for making “egregious errors.”
“I submit this formal resignation as the community relations director as a professional responsibility to remove myself from the malice micromanagement style, poor internal communication, lack of empathy for employees and egregious errors you, Mr. Salmon, have carried out as the City Manager,” Simpson-Carter wrote in her resignation letter.
“I can no longer with good conscience work under this type of organizational culture you have created nor is it feasible for me to maintain a sound mind under these conditions. Your actions have caused great harm to the Department of Community Relations and the citizens served through the Department.”
She also accused Salmon of being “deceitful” and choosing to “take the approach of an autocratic creating more chaos” in her letter.
Simpson-Carter said she and other city employees together “served the city with compassion and selflessness” for the betterment of residents.
Simpson-Carter submitted her resignation letter in November 2020 and delayed her departure until the end of the year.
Salmon has not commented on Simpson-Carter’s allegations contained in her resignation letter.
She is now employed with the N.C. Department of Commerce as a CDBG-CV grant management representative.