Marc Nance announced his resignation from the Mount Airy Town Council yesterday, saying he cannot carry out his duties because a work assignment will be taking him to England for at least eight months.
Mr. Nance, 37, has served on the council for five years. He supervises the town's roads department.
A department manager in space digital design with Fairchild Space and Defense Corp. in Germantown, Mr. Nance just returned this week from a four-month business project in England.
"The town needs a representative in the [town council] chair who can be there, and because of my commitment to my employer and my family I can't be there for eight months," said Mr. Nance.
He said he has enjoyed his time on the council and the decision to resign was not an easy one.
In his years on the council, Mr. Nance said, he has attempted to reduce waste of taxpayer money and develop plans to improve and maintain Mount Airy's infrastructure.
He said the town will announce a town council vacancy and accept names of residents who want to fill his seat. The remaining council members will vote to elect the new member.
While announcing his resignation, Mr. Nance also took the opportunity to criticize some of the council's actions while he was in England.
"During the time of my absence . . . my motives and accomplishments have been questioned and pieces of our progress abandoned," he said.
Mr. Nance said he was particularly disturbed by council business last month involving the road repair budget and use of employee vehicles.
Based on his reading of transcripts from the council meeting, he said, some council members questioned whether the $122,000 that had been included in the town's fiscal 1995 budget for road projects was necessary.
"These were all things they approved in the budget and now they're questioning it and wanted somebody to come in and justify it," Mr. Nance said.
"These were all things that should have been asked during the budget hearing, not when we're going out for bid."
The council also voted last month to reverse an earlier decision, prompted by Mr. Nance, that prohibited municipal employees from taking home town-owned vehicles.
Mr. Nance brought the issue to the council's attention after he received complaints that town employees were driving such vehicles after hours outside of town limits.
"It shows you if I'm not there to defend the things I'm doing, they're going to be undone," he said.
Council President Delaine Hobbs, who initiated reversal of the earlier vote on after-hours use of town vehicles, said he took the action to save taxpayer money.
He said town wastewater treatment employees must do water tests on weekends.
During the time they weren't permitted to use the town vehicles, they were paid additional overtime for the time it took to drive to the town maintenance plant to pick up a town vehicle and go to the water treatment plant.
"Why pay an extra half-hour [in overtime] every Saturday and Sunday?" Mr. Hobbs said.