Luray Council fires Town Manager
Page News and CourierLURAY — The Luray Town Council emerged from a 90-minute closed session on Tuesday night and passed a resolution to immediately terminate Town Manager Rick Black.
After passing the resolution, Mayor Barry Presgraves stated there was no more business and adjourned the meeting. Neither Presgraves, Black nor any council members made any further comments after the meeting.
The action follows a four-week standoff between the council and Black over the terms of a new Town Manager’s contract.
The resolution states that the council offered Black “a new contract for future employment recognizing that his current contract has not been renewed.”
The resolution further states that Black rejected the town’s proposed contract and “offered several proposals” of his own, which the council “must reject” because it does not consider them “to be in the best financial interest of the town.”
Previously, the mayor and council issued a statement indicating that the focus of the contract issue is on Black’s compensation and severance package, which they feel is “extremely expensive” in light of the current economic environment.
Black and his legal counsel, Mark Reed, were reportedly met with the council for about 15 minutes of the closed session.
Although Black was terminated immediately, he was given 30 days of administrative leave with pay. His post was declared vacant, and the Assistant Town Manager and all department heads “will report directly to the mayor until further notice,” according to the resolution passed by the council.