Hilton Head Town Council members met Wednesday afternoon behind closed doors to talk about the town manager position, though the subject of the discussion — Steve Riley, who is looking for another job — was not there.
The council on Monday scheduled the special meeting. The only item on the agenda was an executive session — a private meeting allowed by state law under certain circumstances — to discuss “contractual matters related to the Town Manager/Town Council contract of employment,” and “appointment protocol related to the town manager position.”
After more than an hour of discussion, council members took no action.
“No action has been taken, and there is no action to take as a result of executive session,” said Mayor David Bennett after council members returned from their private meeting.
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Prior to the closed session, Bennett said he could not comment on the reason the meeting was called. According to town code, special meetings may be called by the mayor or a majority of council.
Contacted Wednesday morning, Riley said he didn’t know specifics about the meeting.
“I didn’t ask for this meeting, and I won’t be at this meeting,” he said, noting only the town attorney was asked to be there.
Krista Wiedmeyer, executive assistant and town clerk, said Wednesday that council members and executive staff are permitted to attend executive sessions. Greg Alford, a private attorney for the town, had planned to be at Wednesday’s meeting, she said.
Riley’s contract renews automatically each fiscal year unless the council terminates the automatic-renewal provision by April 30 of any given year. Given that wasn’t done this year, the current contract would end on June 30, 2018. It would renew automatically thereafter if council members don’t take action, according to Nancy Gasen, the town’s director of human resources.
According to the terms of Riley’s contract, stopping the automatic renewal would not terminate the contract agreement itself.
Riley’s current salary is $175,203, according to town officials.
Riley is a finalist for a city manager position in San Marcos, Texas. Interviews are scheduled for Thursday and Friday of next week, according to a release from San Marcos, located near the Texas state capital of Austin.
Hilton Head Town Council members said last week they support Riley’s job search efforts.
On June 14, 2016, the Hilton Head Town Council called a special meeting in executive session for the listed purpose of having a “discussion of employment/potential search process related to town manager.”
Riley had an on-site interview for the Davenport job but was not offered the position, according to Dawn Sherman, the city’s director of human resources. He was among 12 finalists for the Savannah position but was not part of the final six. He withdrew from the search in Forney, Texas.