D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Richard Rose is no longer the city manager in D'Iberville. Tuesday, the city council chose not to renew his contract.
The move was not unexpected. At their meeting two weeks ago, council members spent two hours in executive session. Reportedly, much of that time was spent talking about whether to keep Rose on the job.
On his final day, Rose left on a high note.
"Wow, the last five years have been a great ride. I have never had so much fun in my life. I love you all and thank you very much for this grand opportunity," Rose said. "We have come a long way in this city, and that is not because of me, but because of a great mayor, city council and staff, and most importantly the people of this city."
When he finished his comments, the outgoing city manager got a standing ovation.
Under Rose's tenure, the city has grown from 55 employees to 126, and sales tax revenue has skyrocketed.
As to why his contract wasn't renewed, there are a lot of questions, but few answers.
After the meeting two weeks ago, Mayor Rusty Quave told WLOX News that Rose was a very good city manager, and he was confident the contract issues could be worked out. That didn't happen.
"It is just he had it set on what he wanted and the city had it set on what they wanted," Mayor Quave said.
After the meeting, Rose would not be specific about the contract terms he and the city could not agree upon.
"I tell you what Jeff, I just want to stay positive about everything," he said. "I see this as an opportunity for me and my family to see what else is out there."
For the next few weeks, City Planner Jeff Taylor will serve as interim city manager. There's much speculation that long time county supervisor Bobby Eleuterius will end up with the job, but city leaders were tight lipped.
"If he put in an application, we would consider his application like everybody else," Quave said.
When asked if Eleuterius would be a strong candidate, Mayor Quave said, "I would assume he would be."
The mayor and council hope to have a new city manager at the helm in about a month.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, the council passed a pay raise. The mayor will now make $24,760 a year. Council members will make $18,302.
In contrast to previous meetings on the subject, the pay raise topic drew very little controversy or discussion. At one point, the mayor asked for a show of hands and the majority of people in the audience supported the pay raise.