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Citizen addresses council about termination

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Allows fire department to renew existing loan to purchase trucks

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MABANK–Debbie Hyde addressed the Mabank City Council Jan. 8 at their regular meeting regarding her husband Jim’s termination from the city last year and the events surrounding it.

Issues began, Hyde explained when her husband was accused of illegal dumping in December 2017, which was proven false. Other incidents including an alleged threat of violence, caused Jim Hyde to file a police report against his supervisor, Steve Barley. Sometime later, Jim Hyde was terminated from the city after more than 31 years of employment.

Mayor Jeff Norman told Debbie that Jim was offered the right to appeal his termination to the council but had to file within two weeks of his dismissal. "This (the termination) was a very difficult decision to make," Norman said. Debbie gave council members a copy of a letter that Jim had received after his termination and leveled several allegations at council members, Police Chief Keith Bradshaw and city employees.

Councilman Larry Teague explained that by law the council was not allowed to discuss personnel matters in open court without written permission from all employees involved. Teague and Norman both addressed the legalities of answering such charges in open court and reiterated that a former employee had a right to request a hearing, public or private, and that Jim had been informed of that right.

Debbie was impassioned in her request to "have something done about this" and asked council several times, "How would you feel if this were done to you?" The council agreed to look over the paperwork and discuss it in executive session under personnel matters which is pursuant to Section 551.074 of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

City Firefighter Fred Carter spoke to the council on the matter of renewing an existing loan with Citizens State Bank for purchase of new chief’s truck and a pumper tanker truck. Carter reported that the cost would be around $200,000. City Manager Bryant Morris informed the council that the purchase would be grant money and loan combined. The council authorized the mayor to negotiate the purchase pending proper documentation.

The council also accepted submitted staff reports.

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