MT. PLEASANT—A second high-profile firing by Mt. Pleasant city officials is roiling city government.
Lynn Beesley, a city council member also works for the Mt. Pleasant Public Works Department, has been terminated and is appealing that action.
His appeal hearing was scheduled to be open and be part of the Mt. Pleasant City Council meeting Tuesday night, but ended up being postponed for four weeks.
Meanwhile, Jack Widdison, who was fired as manager of ConToy Arena, was scheduled to have an appeal hearing Wednesday (after press time).
Widdison says he has not yet decided whether he will be represented by legal counsel or whether he will call for his appeal hearing to be open to the public.
It was Colter Allan, public works superintendent, who apparently initiated the firing of Beesley. Tensions between Allan and Beesley have been evident in city council meetings for some time.
In a recent meeting, Beesley publicly confronted Allan on how he was running his department, alleging that Allan was not doing an adequate job of supervising department personnel, and mismanaging job assignments and resources within the department.
According to Beesley, the reason given in his termination letter was Insubordination. “It’s ironic,” Beesley said, “The Police Depart- ment delivered my termination letter while I was off-the-clock doing volunteer work for the city at the rodeo grounds.”
Before his hearing was postponed, Beesley said he had decided not to have legal counsel represent him and had requested that the meeting be open rather than closed. “I want all this to come out in the open,” he said. “It’s about time the public knew everything that’s going on.”
Beesley’s firing follows on the heels of the controversial termination of Widdison, long-time co-manager of the ConToy Arena.
Beesley’s hearing presents some interesting questions. The appeal board consists of the city council. Since he is a sitting member of the council, he has a conflict of interest. The law states that a city council member does not have to recues himself so long as he discloses the conflict.
Asked whether he intends to vote, he said, “… At this time, I do not intend to vote.”
Asked if he could work with Allan if the vote goes his way, Beesley replied, “I’ve done so in the past, and I think I could do so again. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”