Odessa Councilman Speaks Out Against City Manager

Council will discuss city manager's job for the second time

ODESSA, Texas (Local 2/ - For the second city council meeting in a row Odessa's City Manager Richard Morton's job will be up for discussion.

Earlier this month his job duties were listed as a 'personnel matter' and talked about among council members.

The council discussed Morton's during an executive session at the February 14th meeting.

After more than an hour of speaking privately they announced no action to be taken when they addressed the public.

Local 2's Lupe Zapata spoke exclusively with District 1 Councilman Malcolm Hamilton who says he was the one to put Morton's name on the last agenda because he want's him fired.

Hamilton has only been in office for little more than three months and says after more than 15-years of managing the city, a change in power could benefit parts of precinct 1 he feels Morton has neglected.

"District one, what it looks like now is were stuck in a time warp, you have a lot of dilapidated homes, you have a lot of vacant properties." said Hamilton.

In his first couple of months he wanted to 'get the ball rolling' by following through with plans to develop a community center in a neighborhood of high crime in the precinct.

The community center would sit on the open lot across the street from Hayes Elementary, it's a plan he campaigned with before he was elected in November 2016 for the District 1 seat.

"These people have voiced this to me, they says 'hey, we would like a community center over here so we can get these kids off the street.'"

Hamilton says when he presented his ideas to Morton he didn't welcome his vision.

"He walked in the door saying, 'no, we don't have the money' and I called him out on it and said,' yeah we do have the money.'"

Since that first meeting he says things have been difficult with Morton showing a lack of cooperation and creating a sarcastic atmosphere which has 'become toxic.'

"He's over stayed his welcome, and I have to question whether he has all of Odessa's best interest at heart."

He said Morton's job duties being on the February 28th meeting agenda was not submitted by him.

"I have been told by employees that he is very good at bullying them, he has intimidated and threatened."

He has made it his mission to make sure the city has a manager willing to work to develop all of Odessa.

Morton's job on the 'chopping block' isn't a personal matter he said, adding he can't deny Morton has done a good job at developing certain parts of the city.

"The people are my boss, the people who elected me,  they elected me to come in here and get these things done."

We reached out to City Manager Morton back on February 15th to get his response to his job being up for discussion, he has yet to get back to us.

Click here for the February 28th City Council agenda.

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