We are now gaining a better understanding of why Electra's interim city administrator turned in his letter of resignation. Through an open records request, Newschannel 6 obtained the actual document submitted by former Interim Administrator Michael Price.
The reasoning released in the resignation letter expressed concern of where the city was heading at the hands of city commissioners, including that of choosing to release the Electra Chief of Police from his duties.
“I watched as an outsider the media circus associated with the dismissal of the former chief of police and was embarrassed for the citizens of this community,” said Michael Price in his resignation letter. “I will not take any part of any action that I believe will bring further embarrassment on the fine people of Electra.”
Michael Price was with the city just three months before submitting his letter of resignation to commissioners September 22, 2015.
Along with losing the interim city administrator and the chief of police, the new fiscal budget includes the elimination of city jobs and reduction in city employee hours.
The new fiscal budget includes: the elimination of the city's Main Street and Economic Development department and position, the elimination of one part-time Code Enforcement position, then the reduction of the full-time code enforcement officer to just part time.
Along with job eliminations and reduction in hours, the city of Electra's Municipal Court has posted a new sign on the outside of the courtroom doors. The court will no longer be open five days a week. Instead the courthouse will close Thursday’s and Friday’s.
Although it will cut down on operations, it also means moving long-time employees to only part time. It would also include pay cuts, and doing away with insurance and benefits. It's another reason Price determined commissioners no longer needed his services.
His resignation goes on to read “I voice my concerns with the, now, adopted budget which eliminates and reduces much need personnel. On several occasions, members of the commission have stated that the city's elected officials will be ‘hands-on commissioners’...this approach is contrary to the type of city administrator/ city manager style that I have operated under and have made it difficult to perform the functions of my office,” said Michael Price.
Mayor Pam Ward said those cuts were necessary, and will save the city roughly $100,000 annually. The city still owes Wichita County $300,000; the budget cuts will help provide money for that expense, according to Ward.