Fleming retires as city manager

Published 10:57 am Saturday, February 18, 2012

Outgoing City Manager June Fleming, holding certificate, was recognized Monday by Franklin City Council members Don Blythe, from left, Greg McLemore, Barry Cheatham, Mayor Jim Councill, Vice Mayor Raystine Johnson, Mary Hillard and Benny Burgess. -- Frank A. Davis | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—After taking the Franklin city manager’s job on a three-month interim basis, June Fleming on Tuesday will return to retirement for what turned into a 3½-year stint.

Fleming, who retired as city manager of Palo Alto, Calif., and moved to Franklin in 2000, applied for the interim position in 2008 when former City Manager Bucky Taylor left.

“Several people encouraged me to apply,” Fleming said. “I thought it would be three months, but three months evolved into 3½ years.”

The City Council searched for a city manager when she came on, but didn’t get a good pool of candidates.

“Council really developed a good process at the last retreat,” Fleming said. “We did get an improved candidate pool and that process resulted in the hiring of Mr. (Randy) Martin.”

Martin, the city manager for Morehead City, N.C., will start on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Fleming said she has enjoyed her time with the city and has no regrets.

A member of High Street United Methodist Church, she plans to volunteer for the church and spend more time with family. She will represent Franklin on the Paul D. Camp Community College Board of Directors.

“I’ll be going to my first meeting Monday in Suffolk,” Fleming said.

Mayor Jim Councill wished Fleming well in retirement.

“Mrs. Fleming has done an excellent job of managing our city for the past 3½ years while we waited to find a good long-term city manager,” Councill said. “She has helped maintain our city’s strength in challenging times. She has certainly earned her keep a second time around, having come out of retirement to serve the city she had come to call home”.

A Little Rock, Ark., native, Fleming married her husband, Roscoe, 46 years ago. The couple has a daughter each and adopted a son together.

Fleming began her city government career with the Palo Alto Public Library before working her through the ranks to city manager. She was with the City of Palo Alto for more than 30 years.

Fleming took over at a crucial time when the city was trying to become more fiscally responsible, said Councilman Benny Burgess. He said Fleming helped clean up the budgeting process.

“I think she brought staff together,” Burgess said. “Each department head now understands the budgeting process. She’s an unbelievable lady.”

Councilman Greg McLemore said Fleming was “probably the best citizen Franklin has ever had the privilege of hosting.”

“I can’t give her higher praises,” McLemore said. “I think she’s one of the finest people Franklin has ever had.”

Fleming said one of the biggest challenges she faced in her time was managing the economic downturn.

“We have not only maintained a competitive tax rate, but we’ve cut taxes,” Fleming said. “We haven’t raised them.”

She also oversaw the restructuring of city debt and was able to take positions out of the budget that had never been filled.

Councilman Barry Cheatham said Fleming came to the city when her leadership was “sorely needed.”

“She will be greatly missed, but her free time to spend with family and friends is well deserved,” he said.