Morrisville Commissioners: Where's Everyone Going?
Posted June 15, 1998
MORRISVILLE — A lot of people are wondering what's going on in Morrisville. The police chief got his walking papers, then it wasn't long before the town manager stepped down.
Monday night, the remaining town leaders met to find an answer to that question.
The town manager was forced out of office last week, after he fired Morrisville's police chief. That leaves two gaping holes in the town's power structure. Monday night, commissioners voted to fill one of them by asking the town manager to return.
Without a town manager, the day-to-day work of running Morrisville came to a halt, so commissioners voted to act quickly and get things moving. They'll ask David Hodgkins to return to the job he was forced out of last week.
"When you stay on your job twelve, fourteen hours a day, five days a week, you love that job, and i think he's capable," says Commissioner Leavy Barbee.
But the vote to bring Hodgkins back passed on a technicality. Two commissioners voted for it, one against. The motion carried 4-1 when two members refused to vote. That's a lukewarm reception at best.
"My recommendation was to have the board meet with the department heads and get their input about what kind of job they felt like David was doing as their manager," said Commissioner Jan Faulkner.
Morrisville residents aren't sure if the shake-up is the result of small town politics or growing pains. The departure of the police chief and town manager are the talk of the town at the Morrisville Cafe, where country cooking and local gossip are dished out daily.
"You get one that will say one thing and you got another person over here that doesn't want to hear that, cause they got their own opinion," says Harold Heath from behind the counter at the cafe.
Many residents wonder why town officials are so tight-lipped about the changes. Former commissioner Billy Sauls gets an ear full from people who pass through his service station.
"I think it's terrible. I just think that things are out of control. It's total chaos down there," said Sauls.
Town leaders say residents should call their commissioners if they want to know what's going on. They aren't sure if Hodgkins will accept the town's offer to return.
Morrisville is looking for a permanent replacement for its police chief.