There was a very uncomfortable scene going on at the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro on Thursday, Dec. 17, just after 7 p.m.
On one side of the foyer on the second floor, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners was meeting in the board’s large meeting room, while, on the other side of the foyer, at the exact same time, Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing was loading up his things from the manager’s office onto a rolling cart and making elevator trips back and forth to his car in the underground parking lot.
At any other time in the past eight years, when there was a commissioners meeting taking place, Lawing would have been seated front and center before the commissioners. However, on this night, there was no reason for him to be at the meeting since the Board of Commissioners was about to vote to accept his resignation.
Lawing’s resignation had taken place in the wake of Democratic victories in the November election that turned the power of the board over to the Democrats. Lawing had been hired in 2013 by Republican commissioners, and, recently, the brand new Democratic Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston had decided the county would be better served by a manager who had a vision that was more in line with that of the new board.
As Lawing packed his possessions in his large manager’s office, he was obviously not in a very positive mood. However, his poker-faced expression exhibited the same calmness and uniformity that it has through so many ups and downs of Guilford County government over the last eight years.
When asked if he planned on retiring, Lawing, who has about 37 years of government work under his belt, said that he did not. He said he was seeking new work in government.
When asked when the discussions began between he and Alston regarding Lawing’s, exit, Lawing said he would rather not discuss that or go into the details of those discussions.
Though Lawing has a good number of years in government work, many of those were in South Carolina – so, one reason he may wish to work more before retirement is so he can find a job in the North Carolina government system and have the maximum retirement benefits when he finally does retire.