City’s public information officer quits after city manager leaves

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2014

SALISBURY — Elaney Hasselmann, the city’s public information officer, has resigned from her position, effective immediately.
Her departure comes one day after Salisbury City Manager Doug Paris also left his job, effective immediately.
Hasselmann reported directly to Paris. Neither Paris nor Hasselmann has another job lined up.
Paris and City Council members on Tuesday said they came to a mutual agreement to terminate his contract after a nearly five-hour closed session at City Hall.
Hasselmann said she is moving on because of Paris’ departure.
“Prior to accepting the position here, I had plans to move elsewhere professionally, however I ultimately decided to stay on and serve longer after Mr. Paris was named city manager,” she said today in a statement. “Given his departure, I’m ready again to move on professionally.”
Hasselmann said she has worked hard to train and develop the city’s communications team so they could operate seamlessly.
“They are incredibly talented individuals; they are ready and will do a great job during this transition,” she said.
City Council members emerged at 10:48 p.m. Tuesday after a nearly five-hour closed session. Mayor Paul Woodson said the contract between the city and Paris had been mutually terminated, and council members voted unanimously to approve the termination.
In a statement, Paris said he and the city agreed to part ways.
“This was not an easy decision, however the timing is very good for me,” he said.
He has not said why the timing was good.
Woodson said he is preparing a letter of recommendation for Paris to help his job search. Woodson said the city will honor its contract with Paris and give him a severance package.
According to the contract, he will receive six months’ salary plus all unpaid vacation, sick days and holidays.
City Council named Assistant City Manager John Sofley as interim city manager Tuesday night.
Read more details in Thursday’s Post.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.