Lexington City Charter Meeting
The Board of Alderman voted in favor of Lexington’s fire chief and utilities manger in a special board alderman meeting, Friday night. Dozens of residents showed up to hear the fate of the two employees. “I’m satisfied with the judgment. I just wanted to go back to work. I feel like I was suspended for the wrong reason, for no reason at all. I’m just glad that the board seen fit to and brought me back to work,” said Utilities Manager Michael Harper. Mayor Tim Pierce suspended Harper and Woods for not living in the Lexington City limits which is a requirement for their positions. Pierce said both were well aware of the requirement. “I go by what the charter said. I don’t go by what someone might have said or should have said or should have have put in the charter or didn’t put in the charter. We go by what was written and that is the charter, ” said Mayor Pierce. While the city charter does require department heads to live in the city limits, the two officials were hired before the requirement became law. According to Woods and Harper, both believed they were grandfathered in. Both city officials said their living status was never a problem until the recently elected Mayor came into office in October. Pierce told citizens and officials at the meeting, he had every legal right to suspend the two and said he gave the men a chance to move into the city limits. Despite the mayor’s beliefs, the alderman voted for both men to return to work with back pay. Their positions with the city will be interim until the board votes to change the city charter.