CAIRO — The city of Cairo received unexpected news Tuesday when City Manager Chris Addleton announced his intention to resign.

“A good opportunity presented itself,” said Addleton on Tuesday. “Seminole Marine has offered me a position as plant manager in Cairo, and it was simply an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. Most of my career has been in manufacturing and plant management.”

Addleton took over the city manager position in April 2005. He said he was not seeking any outside job opportunities when the offer was presented to him.

“It sought me and found me,” he said. “I have been personally satisfied in this job. I think things have been going well and we have been progressing in the right direction.”

Addleton worked for Timken in Cairo but was going to be transferred to a plant in North Carolina when he was approached about the city manager position.

“I had been in Cairo since 1983 and I thought it would be a good fit for my abilities, and there was a need,” he said. “I just felt like my family also needed to stay in Cairo. It was a need on both sides. I expected to make it a long-term thing. There is a great quality of life in this area, and I wanted to stay in this area. It’s been a very gratifying and rewarding experience for me and an opportunity to serve my area.”

He is also looking forward to the job with Seminole Marine, a boat manufacturing company.

“It is a growing company and has made tremendous progress in a short time,” said Addleton.

The Cairo City Council was informed Monday of Addleton’s decision. THE City of Cairo department heads were told Tuesday morning.

Council member Bobby Gwaltney, who said he suggested that Addleton (his neighbor) consider the city manager job when it became available, is saddened by Addleton’s upcoming departure.

“My first reaction was, ‘Chris, I really want to cry,’” said Gwaltney. “Since he’s been city manager and we have a new mayor, things have really gone smoothly and so much better. It shocked me because I was looking forward to him being with us a lot longer. My second reaction was I was happy for him. He got an offer he couldn’t refuse, and I’m proud of him for that. He’s a very good manager and a very good person.”

Addleton has to give two months notice before vacating the position. His last day is expected to be Oct. 13.

“I hope we can get somebody in to train before I leave,” he said. “It is an attractive position and the person would certainly have the support of the mayor and the council. We have a good organization that wants to improve and make progress. I hope it will be a smooth transition.”

Addleton is grateful for his time with the City of Cairo.

“I’ve had full support from the mayor and council and also full support from department heads and city employees,” he said. “It’s been a great experience for me and I reluctantly leave. But, I will still be a citizen and have the best interest of Cairo at heart.”

The Cairo City Council called a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to begin discussing how to advertise and fill the position.

“This is a big loss to the City of Cairo, but it is a great thing for Chris,” said Mayor Richard VanLandingham. “We wish him the best and will work very hard to try to find somebody to replace him. We hate to see him go, but when you get good opportunities, you have to take them. There is a good team underneath him, and we will work hard to find a replacement.”

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