Once again, there is a new community events manager in Columbia County.
About two weeks ago, Columbia County filed a separation notice stating that Lisa McCollum, the former community events manager for Columbia County’s Community & Leisure Services Division, had been “terminated.”
Rumors have been flying regarding the reasons behind the termination, but there has been no official word given from Columbia County officials.
Apparently, that department is officially jinxed.
McCollum had only been in the position a little over a year.
Prior to McCollum coming on board, Butch Holley was the former community events manager, but he resigned in March 2016 after holding the position for only about eight months.
Before that, in July 2015, Barry Smith, Columbia County’s director of Community and Leisure Services, suddenly submitted his resignation after more than a decade on the job.
So what happened this time with McCollum and her tenure with Columbia County?
Well, following this recent termination of McCollum, John Luton, the current director of Community and Leisure Services, asked the county’s finance manager in an email to send him a “list of how credit card approvals are currently set up for my entire division, in light of recent issues.”
He stated that he would like to review the list and “consider some changes.”
Luton’s email was sent to the finance manager on the same McCollum’s separation notice was released.
Take from that what you will.
Also, during his employment as the community events manager, Holley claimed he was having problems with one particular staff member in the department.
Can you guess who that individual was?
Holley claimed that he was “verbally attacked” by a certain individual in the department and he began questioning some of her actions regarding the department’s financial entries.
As a result of the verbal attacks, Holley claimed in his 2016 exit interview that he suggested to Assistant County Administrator Glenn Kennedy that this particular employee be terminated.
“Glenn decided otherwise and suggested that we give it more time,” Holley stated. Holley said he continued to try to work with this particular employee, but he was still having issues with her and was getting no assistance from the county administrator.
Once Luton came on board, Holley said he turned to him for help.
“From February through March, I was able to work with the new Division Director, John Luton,” Holley wrote. “Working in the same office, John was able to see the work of the department, as we well as witness the frictional interactions with me and (the other employee.)”
On several occasions, Holley said he asked Luton to call a meeting between him and this other employee so they could find “common ground.”
“John told me that he would do so March 21,” Holley stated in 2016. “On the morning of the 21st, John met with me privately after meeting with (County Administrator) Scott Johnson and Glenn Kennedy. John told me that they thought it would be best if I asked to resign. He never provided a reason why and was very upset when letting me know that he was told to do so.”
Holley stated that he felt he had no other choice.
“Knowing the circumstances and history of the former Director (Barry Smith), I decided to tenure my resignation,” Holley stated.
And that was that.
Now, McCollum has also experienced a very abrupt departure from Columbia County.
That department has had very little time for the dust to settle.
After all, McCollum was recently featured in <<IT>>Columbia County Magazine<<IT>>’s “People You Should Know” section and now she is already gone.
At the time of the interview, McCollum said she was very happy and excited to be working for Columbia County.
“I’m so proud to be a part of a strong county government that shares the same value in growth, expansion and cultivating a culture of pride in the members of the community and their employees,” she told the magazine. “I’m privileged to work with an incredible team each and every day and thankful for leaders that support and encourage our efforts.”
When asked what was the “best thing she ever learned,” McCollum said the importance of making a good first impression.
“You have 30 seconds to make a first impression,” she said. “Always look your best, do your best, be your best. You never know whose life you may touch along the way.”
Finally, what was her “secret aspiration?”
“To manage the community events department of Columbia County and raise the bar to expand our reach on the different types of events we bring to our venues,” she said. “I want to continue to cultivate the relationships of our business partners and development authority to market our county nationwide.”
Well, another one bites the dust.
Best wishes to the county’s newest community events manager.