Following more than half an hour of closed session deliberations Tuesday evening, Mick Mallory, Cherokee City Council member, made a motion that Ron Strickland, city administrator, "be terminated from employment tonight."
The motion died for a lack of a second. The city council passed a motion that Wally Miller, Jr., the city attorney, conduct research prior to the next council meeting, apparently as discussed in closed session.
The failed motion by Mallory and the passed motion directing research by the county attorney both occurred at the conclusion of the Tuesday evening meeting in the presence of many citizens who had waited in front of the city hall during closed session discussion. The citizens had waited outside on the chilly night for more than a half hour on the possibility that there could be action by the city council following the closed session.
The closed session occurred under an exemption to the open meetings law that allows a closed session for an employee evaluation at the request of the evaluated employee.
A standing room only crowd was present at the start of the meeting. During the open forum segment, which starts the council meeting, Linda Burkhart raised concerns she had with the management style of Strickland.
Burkhart said there was no communication between the city administrator and fire department personnel prior to action on a proposal to reduce fire department positions. Burkhart suggested that Strickland should have gone to those in the fire department and asked "How can we make this work?"
Burkhart said that if rumors are correct, there is a camera in Strickland's office to film employees. She said Strickland is creating a work climate that is not good.
Burkhart said that the city council should talk to Strickland about his management style and if he cannot change his management style, the city should get a new city manager.