Morton Out As City Manager

ODESSA, Texas (Local 2/Fox 24) -
Tempers flared  in the meeting as council members discussed with personnel concerns.
 
Odessa City Council made a motion to remove City Manager Richard Morton from his position.
 
Community members stood and spoke on his behalf but in the end, it made no difference. 
 
Odessa City Council voted 3 to 2, thus ending Morton's 15 years with the city. 
 
"The reaction in the room was most everyone was upset. We are insulted that the city council would behave in this manor. I think they made a very big mistake," says Sondra Eoff, President Of Official Enterprises Inc.
 
Before the motion passed many community members were very vocal about Morton's achievements, saying his place is and should remain with the city.
 
Eoff was working with Morton on the downtown renovations, and she says his participation was vital to the project.
 
"He has been instrumental in the project and has been the one constant with the city. As you know city council members come and go but typically city managers stay and hes been here for 15 years. So we wanted the continued assurance that he would be here throughout the project," says Eoff.
 
Councilman, Filberto Gonzales made the motion to remove Morton. 
 
Passionately, Gonzalez claimed Morton sabotaged the Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce and didn't stick up for the small guys.
 
Councilwoman Barbra Graff, agreed with Gonzales and called for new leadership.
 
Councilman Malcolm Hamilton, declined to comment during discussion. 
 
All three voted for the removal of Morton.
 
Councilman Dewy Brant and Michael Gardner, both passionately defended Morton.
 
Gardner pointed to the vast amount of city employees who filled the room saying, "They are all concerned their boss is going to be voted out for no reason. The people in this room expect the council to do the right thing."
 
"I love Odessa and I want whats best for Odessa and if that means having Richard Morton step down as city manager or be removed and that's what they think is best then hopefully that works," Morton said. 
 
As the vote came to question and Morton was officially ruled out; community members cried.
 
Morton says he was disappointed with the decision and is unsure what his next move will be.
 
As the meeting concluded, it was unclear how the council plans to fill Morton's role as city manager. 

 


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