Here is a summary of Mr. Vance's background.
WILLIAM (BILL) VANCEHe holds a Bachelor degree in Political Science/Public Administration from Appalachian State University. He is a credentialed municipal manager by the International City County Managers Association. Mr. Vance’s municipal experience is as follows:City Manager, Pickerington, OH. 2010-2018. Pop. 18,500.Town Manager, Lady Lake, FL 2004-2009 Pop. 14,000 - $20 million budget.Town Manager, Luray, VA 2000-2003 Pop. 4,800 - $6 million budget.Town Administrator, Franklinton, NC. Pop. 2,200.
Mr. Vance has had a wide variety of municipal management experiences. He left his last position as City Manager in Pickerington, Ohio, a city near Columbus, Ohio after eight years there in order to attend to personal issues, including a daughter’s illness and a divorce. In Pickerington, he championed several economic development efforts, including city grants to business owners on their historic main street to revitalize the exteriors of commercial properties. The City did a comprehensive revamp of its land use and development regulations while he was there. They also restructured development fees so that the City could supplement their limited staff for engineering and building plans review and inspections with contracted staff support. The fees allowed the City offer a higher level of service without spending taxpayer dollars to do so. He modified the approach to code enforcement, calling on staff to take a more cooperative approach with property owners over violations, resorting to notices of violations and fines only after approaching the property owner in a friendly manner and giving them reasonable time to correct the violations. The City did not raise property or income taxes during his tenure there, yet increased reserves. The Mayor there told me that Mr. Vance ran a lean operation very effectively. He managed multiple large construction projects in Pickerington, including a large and complex street project.
He had a five-year tenure in Lady Lake as Town Manager, but left there amid considerable controversy. A Police Lieutenant, who was out on disability, committed suicide and criticized Mr. Vance in his suicide letter. And his HR Director unwittingly sent a document out in response to a public records request that contained the personal information of employees. That information should have been redacted. Mr. Vance indicated to me that his departure was not forced and the City Attorney confirmed that in a telephone conversation with me. He indicated Mr. Vance had the support of four of five Commission members at the time of his departure. The minutes of the meetings where his severance agreement was approved had very vocal criticism of him from one particular Commission member and members of the audience. I have completed two reference interviews regarding him, one with the Mayor of Pickerington and one with the City Attorney of Lady Lake. Both of them emphasized that Mr. Vance is someone who is very effective at carrying out the wishes of his City Council and that he gets things done. Both praised his interpersonal skills. Mr. Vance stresses his pride in creating a team atmosphere in the cities he has run, stating he is not a micro-manager but likes to stay informed of progress on assignments. - Connie Hoffmann