By Johnny Adams
Last Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Roderick Clark terminated Union Springs Police Chief Danny Jackson and Union Springs City Clerk Presetta Walker, according to Jackson and Walker.
The new mayor and council members took office and held their first meeting last week on Monday, November 2, 2020.
At that meeting, Mayor Clark announced he wanted to make changes in the city’s administrative staff. The council did not approve of his changes and voted to keep the same personnel in place until they could have a work session.
A work session was planned for Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. On Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Clark canceled the work session and requested the chief and clerk to come to his office.
He informed them they were terminated and asked them to turn in their keys. It is not clear yet if the terminations will stand or if the council can or will overrule the mayor.
In last week’s issue, the Union Springs Herald reported that the council approved for Joe M. Reed to be the Municipal Judge. That was not correct.
After reviewing the meeting video, the Herald believes there was a motion and a second to make the appointment, but a vote from the full council was not taken.
The Union Springs City Council held its regular Agenda Setting Meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. At that meeting, City Attorney Elizabeth Smithart explained that the mayor has the sole authority to appoint a police chief, but the entire council must approve the other appointments.
The council placed on the agenda to further discuss administrative appointments at their meeting on Monday, November 16, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. One council member asked for an executive session.
City Attorney Smithart explained that legal issues may be discussed in executive session, but if they want to discuss the good name and character of an employee who is required to complete an Economic Interest Statement, it must be done in an open meeting.