Former Salem City Manager Thomas Christie.
Former Salem City Manager Fired From New Job
The 3-3 vote of the council was broken Monday night by Millington Mayor Terry Jones, who questioned if he could work with Christie in the future. Jones called a statement Christie read earlier in the meeting as only a 'half hearted' apology. "I think he greatly underestimates how divisive his words have become to us and the citizens and how he talks to people and it's not my style at all," said Jones. "I just don't know if we can work together."
Jones called Christie a grown, educated man that he had to warn to be careful not to write a letter somewhat accusing elected officials of lying. "I don't have the time or desire to hold anybody's hand. If you don't know the right thing to do, God bless you but it's time to move on," Jones concluded.
Many of Christie's problems in Millington were apparently tied to major budget cuts he made to try and balance the city's budget. In his statement to the council he said the city manager form of government was not meant to be confrontational, but rather intended to be complimentary and balancing. He asked the council to stop the circus like atmosphere at the meetings and not to tolerate the berating of department heads. Christie also suggested slander and libel be prosecuted. He apologized if his bluntness overrode his tact and for any feelings he unintentionally hurt. However, Christie said he would not apologize for what he said.
Christie was Millington's first city manager after the city's charter was changed from a strong mayoral form of government. The change in government came in the aftermath of the former Mayor retiring after being charged with bribery.
Christie resigned as Salem City Manager in November 2011 after the council agreed to pay him three months several pay included in his contract as well as an additional three months of pay for agreeing to release all claims against the city including an EEO complaint.
Salem Mayor John Raymer said at the time after the council decided they wanted to make a change in the city manager's position, the attorney's worked out the details of the actual agreement.
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