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SIMS — Dana Hewett, who has been town administrator for six years and mayor for the last five, stepped down during town commissioners’ Monday meeting.
“I need full-time employment. I have a daughter that’s getting ready to start college,” Hewett said. “When I took this job on, it was just on an interim basis and I just kind of stayed. It has been six years.”
Mayor Pro-tem Rhonda Payne, who is also the town finance officer, is now serving as Sims’ acting mayor.
Hewett had earned $600 per month and had recently been given a monthly raise of $100 before taxes.
“I worked seven days a week. Some weeks I might not have as much, but if the sewer station goes down, I am down there too,” Hewett said. “I love the town, but I just needed to have full-time employment.”
Hewett said during her tenure as mayor and as town administrator, Sims has moved forward.
“We got the park. We bought an actual town hall. We got a Dollar General. We got two new subdivisions coming. We have established a Christmas party every year for the community, an Easter egg hunt. We are going top have our first community day when the park opens in September,” Hewett said. “We have been really productive.”
“So I hope that whoever the new administrator is that comes in, that it just grows and does even more, just keeps going up,” Hewett said.
Hewett will stay on as town administrator until July 31.
“I still had some appointments that I needed to tie up and I just didn’t want to leave them hanging,” Hewett said. “I have been working with the clerk trying to let her know where everything is and to make sure they know all of the duties that they have.”
According to Payne, a meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to take up the matter of filling the town administrator position.
“We are going to be having a closed-session meeting to discuss personnel and legal stuff next week to see where we need to go,” Payne said.
“I am leaving on a pleasant note,” Hewett said. “I wish the town well and I hope that they keep moving in a positive direction.”
Payne, who was first elected to the Sims Board of Commissioners in 2010, said she hopes a new mayor can be found.
“I hope I am not going to be the one in the end to be holding the title of mayor,” Payne said. “I am going to do what’s best for the town. We have just got to sit down and discuss it, the commissioners do, and I am one of the commissioners. I have got to discuss with the attorney what is best to do because I don’t want to lose my voting rights because the mayor only votes if there is a tie.”