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Split votes mark Wilmer council

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Ellis County Press
WILMER - The Wilmer City Council had a full plate of executive sessions on its regular agenda Thursday night, Oct. 5, as an audience of 10 citizens waited one hour and 10 minutes while those on the council met behind closed doors inside the community center.

All the executive sessions consisted of termination and hiring of city employees.

Three of the five executive session items were approved by split votes.

One item was approved unanimously.

Another motion died due to lack of a second.

Mayor Pro-Tem Don Hudson found himself in opposition to most on four of the issues. Hudson said it wasn't he was opposed to everything. He said he felt there was a right way to conduct business and the city should follow proper procedure.

After reconvening in regular session, following the executive sessions, council members Jesse Petton, Billy Wickliffe, Virginia Arroyo, Tiny Lange and Hudson agreed to approve the resignation of Johnny Mosley, water and sewer supervisor.

Hudson then entered a motion the city council set the salary of city mechanic Jody Crawford at $8.50 per hour. The salary was said to be $12 per hour at a previous meeting.

Hudson's motion died due to lack of a second.

Wickliffe made a motion for code enforcement officer Earl Kendrick to be also hired to fill the water and sewer supervisory vacancy left by Mosley.

Lange seconded Wickliffe's motion.

'I have nothing against Earl,' Hudson said. 'But the position needs to be advertised for and take applications on. And I've discussed this with Earl.'

The council went ahead and approved Kendrick as water and sewer supervisor by a vote of 3-2. Wickliffe and Lange voted in favor of the motion. Hudson and Arroyo opposed. Petton abstained. Mayor Eugene Lowe had to vote to break the 2-2 tie.

Lange made a motion confirming the termination of librarian Janice Grupe. Voting in favor were Petton, Wickliffe, Arroyo and Lange. Hudson opposed.

That decision was followed with the council approving the hiring of Linda McCrory as librarian by a vote of 4-1. Petton, Wickliffe, Arroyo and Lange voted for. Hudson opposed.

Hudson said he felt the council should've awaited the outcome of Grupe's lawsuit filed with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission before making decisions regarding librarian.

'Again it's a job that should be posted,' he said.

Hudson said he felt Kendrick and Grupe would be fine applicants for the respective positions in which they were approved.

However, Hudson said he felt other persons should have had equal opportunity to submit applications for the jobs.

He said he didn't have anything against Kendrick and Grupe, and it wasn't they weren't qualified, but the city could miss out on a 'crack' water and sewer supervisor, and librarian by not allowing other persons opportunities to apply.

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Nelson Propane

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