ODESSA -- The decision to fire Richard Morton from his position as city manager took place at Tuesday night’s city council meeting, in a split 3-2 vote. The meeting was unlike any other, and it won’t be forgotten for a very long time.
Raised voices, finger-pointing, and even banging fists on desks took place as some council members reacted after Morton’s termination came as a shock to many.
Councilors Barbara Graff, Malcolm Hamilton, and Filiberto Gonzalez all voted to oust Morton, while Dewey Bryant, Mike Gardner, and Mayor David Turner argues against the decision to remove the city manager of 15 years.
According to the Odessa American, Gonzalez accused Morton of not supporting the Mexico Initiative, a city partnership with Mexico to create jobs here in Odessa and on the other side of the border.
It’s led by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which, according to Turner, hasn’t been proving successful.
You’ll recall back in May when the city council fired the then Odessa Development Corporation president Jimmy Breaux with no explanation. The ODC would have helped fund the Mexico Initiative.
But for our now former city manager, he seems to be leaving his position with grace. The OA reported he shook hands with every city council member after the meeting Tuesday night.
We tried getting a hold of Morton Wednesday morning, but his secretary said Morton had already cleared out his office and wouldn’t be returning.
Morton also declined to comment Wednesday.