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Public Safety Director approved

FERRIS – Just when it seemed as though it would never happen, Ferris City Manager Bill Jordan handed in his resignation following the Monday, June 3 regular meeting of the Ferris City Council.

Meeting attendees had been begging council members to fire him for at least the past year, blaming him for the negative reputation the city has been receiving.

Jordan was previously accused of 11 counts of sexual harassment by city employees, with six being confirmed by an independent investigation of city hall. That led to his public censure in February by both the International City Managers Association and the Texas City Managers Association, which determined his management style was not appropriate to govern an office successfully.

In addition, he covered up the shenanigans of past officeholders and, according to economic development directors, “blindsided them with clients,” costing the city focused business growth.

Councilwoman Sherie Chapman had put to review “Employee agreement of City Manager Bill Jordan and City Secretary Callie Green” on Monday’s meeting agenda, and the council retired to executive session for discussion.

When they reconvened after nearly two hours, the meeting was ended.

Then, Jordan came forward and submitted his resignation.

Earlier in the meeting, the council approved the creation of a Public Safety Officer to be the department head of both the police and fire departments.

Police Chief Eddie Salazar would become the director, mostly in an administrative position.

“Captain Clayton Haughey will oversee the day-today at the fire department, and Detective Walter Weiss at the police department,” said Salazar.

Both will report to Salazar, and he would do the budgets.

Chief Salazar said the position would be permanent – at least until October, when it could be reviewed, but said, “right now, we work real well together – we’re all public servants.”

“I would like to see animal control also be under the PSO,” said Councilman Michael Martinez.

Salazar said CareFlite also would be under (our) umbrella, but would remain a separate entity.

He said the Texas Department of Fire told him he could take over, but would need to maintain police certification.

Councilwoman Chapman brought forward two more issues. The first involved limiting the check amounts Jordan could write without council approval.

Jordan said the former council had approved him to spend up to $9,999, most of them reoccurring monthly expenses.

Martinez said the ordinance should include only reoccurring expenses, with everything else more than $2,500 should come before council.

The council asked this be reworked and brought back to council.

The other issue was for terminated employees to be able to appeal to council or the mayor instead of having to appeal to Jordan, especially if he was the one who fired them.

Chapman insisted the appeal process was taken away from the mayor by previous council “to punish him.”

“It wasn’t a vindictive action,” said Councilman Clayton Hunter.

“I beg to differ,” said Chapman.

There was no action taken at this time.

Ellis County Press

208 S Central St. 
Ferris, TX 75125