Tina Tuggle resigned from the position of Etowah City Manager during a called city commission meeting on Tuesday.
Tuggle noted in her resignation letter that she regretted having to submit her official letter of resignation.
“Due to recently diagnosed health conditions, I have determined with the assistance of my doctor that I cannot continue to perform the duties as needed to present with honor as I have for the past 4-1/2 years,” Tuggle noted in the letter. “I have given all that I could to make the Etowah Commission proud of the work I and the municipal staff have achieved. I think that I have proved that things can be done, that things can run well and progress can be made, whether I be from Etowah or Mars. That option is antiquated and filled with hate.”
She also noted in the letter that it was a difficult decision, but one that she felt was for the best.
“At this time in my life and with my current health matters in mind I must focus on myself, my health and my family,” she wrote. “This has not been a decision that was easy to make. I wish all the best to the City of Etowah and I pray Etowah can one day be a group that works together, not groups of many working separately. Best wishes and prayers to all.”
The vote to accept Tuggle’s resignation passed with all commissioners in favor.
“It wasn’t as dramatic as it might seem. Everybody knew she was under a lot of stress and she has fought it off for quite a while,” said Etowah Mayor Burke Garwood. “Those who might have voted not to accept the resignation decided that if she wanted out then we shouldn’t stop her.”
Garwood added that his view of Tuggle evolved during her time as city manager.
“I hate to see her go because she had an amazing work ethic,” he noted. “I was one of her biggest critics for a couple of years but she would stay here and work even after regular work hours, even though she didn’t live here in town, then she would drive home and always be back in the office by 7:30 a.m.”
He noted one of the hardest things about her resignation is the timing.
“We have a lot of projects currently going but we have to do what is needed to do. We have (consultant) Mike (Tallent) who is able to help us and we have (Etowah Utilities General Manager) Harold Masengil to take care of the south end of the old industrial park and the pool has been a source of great anguish,” Garwood expressed. “It is like shooting pool with rope. You just can’t do it but you have to deal with it and move on.”
According to Garwood, they have started the process of looking for a new city manager.
“We have been working with MTAS (Municipal Technical Advisory Service) trying to aget the advertisements out with the qualifications that we feel like we need and getting the ball rolling. Ideally we would like to be through this in 90 days,” he stated. “We are looking for people with experience. They need to be able to write grants, show competence in their background check, just the normal kinds of stuff.”
Garwood added that he expects the role will be filled well when a decision is made.
“She was a real strong and smart woman and I hate that we lost her,” he expressed. “She was a blessing, but we will move on and when the next one comes in, hopefully within two or three years we will have just as many good things to say about them.”