GARLAND — After filling voids for public works, the town is back to square one when it comes to the duties.
During a recent meeting, the Garland Board of Commissioners officially accepted the resignation and terminations of two employees. Cory Smith’s resignation was effective Friday, Oct. 27. Next, commissioners accepted the termination of Robert Mooring, which was effective Friday, Oct. 13.
The decision came after a conflict regarding dogs Mooring kept at the town’s shop with permission from Commissioner Ralph Smith. With his wife in the hospital, mooring said the arrangement was made to accommodate his work schedule. Mayor Winifred Murphy stressed that it was a liability issue. Board Attorney Micheal Porter also advised not to have the animals on town property. Mooring announced that he plans to take legal action after an alleged incident involving threats and property damage occurred between him and Murphy.
The approvals now leaves the town without public works employees. Commissioners agreed to help by doing jobs around town, with the assistance of volunteers and town clerks. Some of the work includes sewer, meter readings, water connections, grass cutting and trash disposal.
Garland is currently accepting applications for public works and maintenance employees. A listing on the town’s website says the work will include work on streets, parks, cemeteries and water maintenance. Applicants with water/sewer certifications or an ability to receive them will be looked at first. Other certifications such as pesticide/public health is required too. Murphy alluded to how the town would like to find someone soon.
“We will get through the next couple of weeks,” Murphy said. “We are advertising still for public works and we’ll see what we can do to get someone hired as quickly as possible. We thank you all for your teamwork.”
Before the recent search, the town has faced several issues regarding the public works department. One recent matter involved perceived nepotism issues with a candidate related to S.J Smith and Ralph Smith. A decision was also made during that time to pay $18, when the previous employee earned $13. The town also went back forth when it came to using Envirolink to handle public work services.
As the town wait to interview applicants, Murphy discussed her opinion about commissioners working together, while quoting Haile Selassie, a former emperor of Ethiopia.
“History teaches us that unity is strength, and cautions us to submerge and overcome our differences in the quest for common goals,” Murphy said while reading the words of Selassie. “I know that everyone loves Garland and we all have common goals and we need to thrive. With all of our combined strengths through teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.