Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce director resigns

aspecht@newsobserver.comSeptember 20, 2013 

Chris “Scoop” Green

COURTESY OF THE HOLLY SPRINGS CH — Courtesy of the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce

— Chris “Scoop” Green resigned from his job as executive director of the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Sept. 19, less than a month after he and members of the Town Council spoke publicly about tensions between the two groups.

Green did not tell the chamber why he was leaving the job, said Sean Mayefskie, chairman of the executive committee of the Holly Springs chamber. Green submitted a resignation letter, but Mayefskie declined to disclose the letter or to discuss what it said.

The chamber’s board didn’t ask Green to resign, he added.

“We wish him the best of luck,” Mayefskie said.

Green, who has served as executive director of the chamber since 2004, could not imediately be reached for comment.

Last month, Green and some Holly Springs Town Council members publicly admitted to an ongoing rift that prompted incumbent council members up for re-election in November to abstain from the chamber’s video voters’ guide.

Councilwoman Linda Hunt Williams said at the time that she felt disrespected by Green in part because he didn’t respond to her questions about the video interviews.

Councilman Jimmy Cobb, meanwhile, said the chamber has offered less support in recent years for the town’s Christmas parade. Mayor Dick Sears said the chamber hasn’t been vocal enough in backing new parks and recreation projects.

In response, Green last month noted a past meeting where council members directed their “anger and hatred” toward him. He also suggested the nation in general needs younger, more diverse elected officials.

Councilman Chet VanFossen speculated that Green’s “tense” relationship with the Town Council could have prompted his resignation.

“Scoop was a nice guy,” VanFossen said. “I liked him a a lot, but I disagreed with his methods.”

Like VanFossen, Sears said he found out about Green’s resignation when he saw an email from the chamber Thursday morning.

“Nobody has said anything more than that,” Sears said.

“I don’t know what to think,” he said, adding that it’s “hard to tell” whether the sudden departure has to do with tensions between the town and chamber.

The Holly Springs chamber receives between $30,000 and $40,000 a year from the town and is tasked with promoting and developing local business. The organization has more than 300 members.

Phil Matthews, who represents Holly Springs on the Wake County Board of Commissioners, said he was shocked by Green’s abrupt resignation.

“That is not like him. He is too much of a professional to just pick up his marbles and go home,” Matthews said. “I thought he did an outstanding job. Something must have set him off.”

Staff writers Sarah Nagem and Andrew Kenney contributed to this report.

Specht: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @AndySpecht

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