Carlyle Cox has resigned from the Hall County Library Board.
In a short letter to the Hall County Board of Commissioners dated April 2, Cox wrote, “Effective as of today’s date, I tender my resignation as a member of the Hall County Library Board.”
The letter offered no explanation for why he chose to end his service on the volunteer board.
Chairman Tom Oliver, who originally appointed Cox to the board, appointed Erica Cooper of Chestnut Mountain to fill his seat.
“I think she will be kind of a different approach,” Oliver said.
A lifelong Hall County resident, Cooper graduated from North Hall High School and was raised in the Clermont area. She is the mother of two children, who attend Johnson High School and Chestnut Mountain Elementary.
After substitute teaching for several years, Cooper is now pursuing a degree in early childhood education at Gainesville State College.
“I’d like to compliment Carlyle for the job he did,” Oliver said. “But I’m delighted with the opportunity to bring Erica Cooper to the board; she’s quite impressive.”
Cox’s resignation comes after weeks of controversy following Oliver’s announcement that he had paid Cox as a consultant since 2006 without commission approval.
An open records request by The Times showed Cox had received $75,000 over the past four years to act as a water and sewer consultant, but had produced no correspondence or reports.
The city of Clermont sent a letter in the middle of March to the library board and the commission asking for Cox’s resignation, citing a conflict of interest after learning of his employment with Oliver, who initially proposed moving the library project to Nopone Road.
Mayor James Nix said Cox’s resignation is “one step” toward making things right for the town of Clermont.
“We didn’t think he ought to be on the library board,” Nix said.
Hall County Library System Director Adrian Mixson said he was disappointed to see Cox leave the 10-member library board.
“We’ll miss Carlyle,” Mixson said. “He has an interest in libraries. He’s always been a library user. ... We always like to have board members who are also active library users — they understand the issues from a patron’s standpoint.”
Mixson said Cox, who was in his third year on the board, thought resigning was best for the library system.
“It just takes his name out of the whole entire issue with what’s going on with Clermont and Nopone (Road). He thought that was the best thing to do,” Mixson said. “It’s a shame everything’s gotten drug in together because I think Carlyle does understand libraries.”