April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Fox resigns as town manager over pay dispute

By HSJ Online [email protected]

Hope Town Manager Melina Fox has resigned her position with the town, citing a dispute about her base pay.

Fox submitted the resignation letter on Jan. 24th with the resignation to go into effect on Feb. 5th.

Fox said she did not want to comment outside of an e-mail to HSJ Online and the town of Hope.

In the e-mail to HSJ Online this morning, Fox wrote:

"My fourth great-grandparents, William Critser and Hannah Robertson, were among the earliest settlers to the area. Thomas and Christina Holland Fogle who are buried in God's Acre are also my ancestors. Because of these deep roots, I was very excited when hired to be the Town Manager in order to honor their legacy and help the Hope Town Council implement the 2012 Comprehensive Plan.

In my Hope Star Journal article of August 10, 2014, I wrote: "The Hope Town Council took a most proactive approach in 2012 and hired the professional firm, DZL, who prepared an outstanding Comprehensive Plan. The project manager was Alan Mize who grew up in Hope. As Town Manager, my job is to formulate a strategy to implement the objectives within the (comprehensive plan.) Please know that I am not here to change anything---but, only to guide the enhancement of the Town of Hope's amazing assets. And, I am asking the good citizens for your patience and understanding because the process will be gradual."

"With the help and support of many wonderful citizens and great collaborative partners, here a few of the accomplishments of the past nineteen months:

  • Certified as a Main Street program which offers the Town of possibilities. Brittany Young, the Executive Director for Main Street of HOPE, is doing an outstanding job.

  • Helped design and implement new Town of Hope website which has several aspects: government, business and economic development, tourism, community calendar, etc.

  • Have over 2200 Followers on Facebook. Our social media marketing is working based on feedback from business owners, attendance at events and comments on our page.

  • Secured a USDA-RD grant for the new HPD car and computer system.

  • Raised $1500 from corporate sponsors for the Yellow Trail Museum's Christmas of Yesteryear.

  • Negotiated the agreement for the YTM to be entrusted with the Rural Letter Carriers collection. By having this rare collection, the YTM should have a great asset for applying for grants.

  • Began the beautification (CP recommendation) project shortly after being hired. We continue to expand the project. Recently, the Town Council approved moving forth to obtain a Planning Grant.

  • Raised $3750 from corporate sponsors for the Brick project which was Randy Sims's idea.

  • Streamlined the Town Council meetings which are more efficient.

  • Improved the physical appearance of Town Hall to project a professional image.

  • Built working relationships with Bartholomew County Officials and other leaders whose collaboration is vital to the growth of the community.

  • The Town Council approved my recommendation to support the Columbus Visitors Center desire to work collaboratively with Sports Tourism which affords numerous opportunities.

  • Initiated the Rental Registry for landlords after attending the IACT conference in July 2014.

  • Have two new businesses, S &J Sportcards and Collectibles and Jonah's Online Sales in the Town of Hope.

  • Worked many hours with Tabatha Tallent, Chairperson, to organize and implement two Pride in Community Days which hauled away about 26 tons of trash.

  • The Revitalization of the Hope Historic Town Square project was named a Bicentennial Legacy Project.

  • Was notified by a DC contact about a possible grant for the HVFD. Trena Carter and Chad Emmitt submitted the grant.

    "On January 24th, I submitted my letter of resignation as the Hope Town Manager.

    "Today, February 5th, was my last day of service. Like Coach Madden of the Raiders said when he left his position, "I simply gave it all I had" being your Town Manager.

    "God bless!

    "'Make the world better.' -my ancestor, Lucy Stone (1818-1893). First woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree.

    "Mel (Melina) Fox"

    [[In-content Ad]]
  • HOPE