Rob Johnson, interim city manager, said Tuesday that Allison resigned and was not fired. He would not discuss the situation further because it's a personnel issue. Jim Howell, acting public works director, will assume Allison's duties on an interim basis, Johnson said.
Johnson, the city's senior manager of community improvement and outreach, has served as city manager since Bill Rawlings reached a separation agreement with the city on Nov. 20 -- a couple weeks before Scott Mann, Wallace Edgerton and Greg August were scheduled to be sworn in as council members.
Then last week, city attorney Joseph Fletcher resigned, stating that the new city council "desires to be free to select a new city attorney." Julie Biggs, an attorney with the firm Aleshire & Wynder and a contributor to Mann's successful mayoral campaign, was hired as an interim replacement.
The positions of city manager and city attorney are the only two over which the city council has the power to hire and fire. Allison submitted his resignation to Johnson, the acting city manager.
During his time as city engineer, Allison had to answer to the city council and the public about several road and infrastructure projects. Many residents have expressed frustration with the slow progress of improvements on the Newport Road bridge and the proposed Holland Road overpass. One of Mann's stated priorities as mayor is to accelerate the Holland Road project.
Mann, who is out of town on vacation, said in a phone interview Tuesday that he learned of the resignation Monday night.
"It's a personnel issue, so I can't really discuss it," Mann said. "Department heads report to the city manager. I would refer all questions to Rob Johnson."
When asked whether he believed this would be a positive move for the city going forward, Mann said, "I don't know. All I can say is there have been more than several complaints about projects being delayed by this department."