BY MICHAEL WALTON
TRAVERSE CITY — The Grand Traverse County Road Commission will pay its former manager a $35,000 settlement.
The commission approved the agreement with Mary Gillis in a 3-2 vote during a public meeting Dec. 20.
Commission Chairman Marc McKellar and Commissioner Dave Taylor cast the dissenting votes.
The commission voted 3 to 2 in May not to extend Gillis' contract, which expired in October. Gillis was criticized by McKellar and Taylor in the months leading up to the vote. Gillis, in turn, said those comments damaged her professional reputation.
Gillis agreed not to sue the commission in exchange for the settlement amount.
"In order to avoid the costs and delays associated with litigation, the parties, wishing to fully resolve this matter, enter into this agreement," according to road commission documents regarding the settlement.
Gillis, who approved and signed the agreement Dec. 10, will receive one check for the $35,000 minus "all appropriate payroll withholdings."
The agreement states it is not an admission of fault or guilt by either party and both sides agreed not to "criticize the reputation" of the other party.
A confidentiality clause bars either side from discussing the settlement with third parties, including the news media.
The commission approved parameters of a settlement offer to Gillis on Nov. 29. McKellar and Taylor, who led the effort to oust Gillis, voted no.
Gillis now works as director of central operations for the Oakland County Road Commission.