Summerfield Town Attorney Bill Hill has turned in his resignation.
Hill, who has served in that position for 14 years, often found himself in the middle of a bitterly divided Summerfield Town Council. The town has been making news for two straight years due to its current high level of discord over several major issues – most notably disagreements regarding the long running battle with former Summerfield Town Councilmember Todd Rotruck who was removed from the council in April 2017 after the Guilford County Board of Elections determined that Rotruck did not live in Summerfield.
In his one page resignation letter, Hill wrote that this decision is one that will serve the best interest of the town and he added that a “new face” in that job will help Summerfield move forward.
“I regret having to make this decision, but feel it is best,” Hill wrote in the letter that was given to Summerfield Town Manager Scott Whitaker on Wednesday, May 1.
“The opportunity to serve the town has been the best experience of my legal career,” Hill added.
Hill wrote that he has been “blessed” during his time in the job “with the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in the community and to serve under several councils.”
He also stated in the letter that there are other areas of his law practice that are in need of attention, including “some complex land use matters.”
Over the last two years, Hill and Summerfield Mayor Gail Dunham have often been at odds: Dunham has been publically critical of Hill and Hill frequently spoke to the mayor in very harsh tones during public meetings.
Hill came under some criticism earlier this year when it turned out that a change to the town’s charter, one that was put on the ballot and approved by voters in November of last year, had already been made to the town charter by the NC Legislature a decade ago – when Hill was serving as the town attorney. Many Summerfield residents said after the oversight was discovered that Hill should have remembered that change and known there was no reason to go through a ballot referendum.
Hill concluded his resignation letter by saying that “Summerfield is a wonderful place, filled with great opportunity to serve.”
He suggested that the town council hold a closed session in May to discuss the transition to a new attorney.