Kiawah treasurer resigns over disagreement, mayor says

Kiawah Island Mayor Charles Lipuma said town Treasurer Kenneth Gunnells resigned unexpectedly on Thursday.

KIAWAH ISLAND — Town Treasurer Kenneth Gunnells resigned Thursday, Mayor Charles Lipuma said.

“It was unexpected,” Lipuma said Friday.

Gunnells and Lipuma disagreed on an issue that Lipuma said he was not at liberty to discuss.

“He (Gunnells) was unhappy with this matter, so he resigned. I told him that I was disappointed that he was resigning and if he had a change of heart to let me know,” Lipuma said.

Gunnells had been with the town for about nine years, the mayor said.

Lipuma refused to disclose how much Gunnells was paid, and the salary was not available at the town website.

No one answered calls to a number that the town said was Gunnells’ home phone. It was not possible to leave a voicemail message at the number.

On May 7, Town Administrator Tumiko Rucker told The Post and Courier that she had submitted her resignation effective June 30. She said that she wanted a new challenge and that she may run for political office. Rucker has been with the town for nearly 10 years. Lipuma said she had served the town effectively and professionally, and he wished her well.

Town Council on Friday considered three candidates for a search firm that it will hire to recommend a replacement for Rucker. It could take up to four months to find a new town administrator, Lipuma said.

“We’ve already been getting some submissions,” he said.

The town also will hire a search firm to recommend a new treasurer, Lipuma said.

In the meantime, the town has other staffers qualified to assume the duties of Gunnells until a replacement is hired, Lipuma said.

“We have a good back-up system. We may have to bring in a temporary CPA-type person,” he said.