The resignation of Greensboro City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba on Tuesday, March 5 is puzzling.

The City Council is mute about why Jaiyeoba resigned. When asked why Jaiyeoba resigned, Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “It was a personal decision.”

When asked if it was related to the domestic violence incident at Jaiyeoba’s home on Dec. 28, 2023, Vaughan said, “I don’t believe the city manager did anything wrong on Dec. 28.”

When the City Council meeting was called back into public session at 5:39 p.m., Jaiyeoba was not present. In fact, his seat in the Council Chamber was vacant.  Usually if the city manager cannot attend a meeting, the deputy city manager or an assistant city manager takes the place of the city manager.  However, no one was in the city manager’s seat and there was no mention of why the city manager wasn’t present.

The timing is also puzzling. At 6:12 p.m., Jaiyeoba sent his letter of resignation by email to city councilmembers who were in the middle of the City Council meeting.

At 6:27 p.m., the City of Greensboro Communications and Marketing Department sent out a press release stating, “Today, the Greensboro City Council accepted the resignation of City Manager, Taiwo Jaiyeoba, effective immediately.”

But the City Council didn’t vote to accept Jaiyeoba’s resignation until almost 8:30 p.m. at the end of the City Council meeting. So the press release stating that the City Council had accepted the resignation went out nearly two hours before the City Council accepted the resignation.

The City Council did meet in closed session from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., but according to the North Carolina Open Meetings Law, while personnel matters may be discussed in closed session, final action must be taken in open session.  So while the City Council may have come to an agreement in closed session, the action of accepting Jaiyeoba’s resignation wasn’t official until the City Council voted in open session.

The vote to accept Jaiyeoba’s resignation and provide him with a three-month severance package, which includes salary and benefits but not executive compensation, was 5 to 4, with Vaughan and Councilmembers Zack Matheny, Hugh Holston and Tammi Thurm voting no.

Vaughan, Matheny and Holston all said they were in favor of accepting the resignation but opposed to the severance package. Vaughan said that ordinarily when people resign they are not paid.

Councilmember Sharon Hightower said she was in favor of the severance but opposed to accepting Jaiyeoba’s resignation.  However, Hightower, along with Councilmembers Yvonne Johnson, Goldie Wells, Nancy Hoffmann and Marikay Abuzuaiter, voted in favor of accepting the resignation and paying Jaiyeoba to resign.