ODESSA -- It’s been a hectic 24 hours for the City of Odessa following the unexpected firing of City Manager Richard Morton.
Mayor Turner was disappointed to see Morton fired, and even feels the situation could’ve been handled better, but he says as a city they need to continue moving forward.
“What happened last night happened, but we still have to supply the services and do it in a very good manner towards the people of Odessa,” Turner explained.
Barbara Graff, Filiberto Gonzales, and Malcolm Hamilton each had their own reasons for voting to remove Morton as City Manager.
Even though Turner disagrees with their decision, he knows as a unit they have to work on coming together.
“We've talked on one-on-ones about working better together, but typically you have Type A personalities and sometimes those rub, that's something we have to do a better job,” said Turner.
Given the tension that lingers among certain city council members, Turner realizes recruiting efforts will be challenging, however he personally believes Deputy City Manager Michael Marrero would be the perfect fit as interim.
“I've worked for this organization for over 20 years, I enjoy working for the city, I will serve at whatever capacity the council seems fit,” said Marrero.
But that decision will ultimately be left to city council.
"I have faith in our council members, we've got to get some of this petty stuff behind us and move on for the betterment of the city," said Turner.
Mayor Turner said Morton oversaw the police and fire departments, as well as the downtown projects.
He also mentioned an interim would most likely be appointed during their next meeting.
“My preference would probably be to go for a little while with an interim, let things calm down, let the waters calm down, and continue to move on and we’ll look at it maybe in six months,” said Turner.