Electra Commissioners Select New Leadership; Residents Still Concerned About Police Chief

Electra Commissioners Select New Leadership; Residents Still Concerned About Police Chief

The city of Electra now has a new Interim City Administrator. City commissioners announced the move Tuesday, on the heels of the resignation submitted by former Interim City Administrator Mike Price.

The new administrator may be a familiar face to some Electra residents. Commissioners announced the incoming of new Interim City Administrator Steve Bowlin.

Bowlin used to work for the city of Electra, in 2002, as the public works director. Following that, he moved overseas and worked as a contractor for the military in Afghanistan.  

He decided to come back to the town to pursue this new opportunity.

 Despite the numerous city leader resignations that have crippled the city in just the past five months, Bowlin said he is ready to get started. He brings a number of leadership skills to the table, according to Bowlin.

He also plans of turning around the current perception of many frustrated Electra residents.

“Every small community is going to have problems,” said Steve Bowlin. “My goal is to lets all get on the same page; let’s make this city great again. Let’s try not to worry about the small issue lets concentrate on the big ones.”

Bowlin will make about $57,000 a year with benefits and a city car, according to Mayor Pam Ward.

“I want to get everybody back to the same page and look down the road and lets all work to achieve something together,” said Bowlin.

Commissioners were also expected to discuss and name a potential candidate to take over the position permanently.

However tonight, commissioners announced all three possible candidates have officially been turned down. One of those applicants withdrew for another career opportunity, while the other was not a good fit for the city, according to commissioners. The third was not qualified.

 Commissioners were also hoping to fill the vacancy of Commissioner Place Four. They've reached out three different times searching for someone to fill the slot, according to Ward.

They recently had three applicants, all of whom withdrew their names for various reasons, according to Ward. Tuesday, commissioners announced that spot will sit vacant until the next election.

It was a packed house inside commissioner chambers Tuesday. While many residents were hoping to learn more about the new leadership taking over, others were still trying to make changes when it comes to Former Chief of Police Michael Hopkins.

Hopkins was relieved of his duties roughly three weeks ago. However, Tuesday, one resident was hoping to change that.

 Rickey Foster, an Electra resident, presented a request to the city secretary. It was a paper signed by 180 other Electra residents calling for the reinstatement of Michael Hopkins.

“In my hopes they will see there's a lot of citizens in this town that are concerned about what’s going on,” said Rickey Foster. “In my opinion we are setting ourselves up for another lawsuit, which we don't need, and can’t afford. We don’t need to do that to a man that didn't do anything wrong.”

 Foster said he will continue to gather more and more signatures.

“We need to make Electra the town it used to be and get us moving forward and growing up instead of down. We’re going in the wrong direction,” said Foster.

He said he is also waiting on a detailed explanation of why Hopkins was let go.

 That's an answer Newschannel 6 is still working to gather. We have filed an open records request from the city; we are hoping to get that information by tomorrow.

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6