DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - There appears to be growing tension in the city council chambers of Diamondhead. The mayor and council members don't seem to agree on much these days, expect the need for an independent audit. Much of the controversy centers around the city manager.
At Tuesday's special called meeting, council members voted unanimously on three different agenda times. Three times mayor Tommy Schafer responded with an emphatic "no."
The meeting comes one week after the mayor made a motion to suspend City Manager Clovis Reed. The motion died for lack of a second. But why does the mayor have his sights set on Reed?
"One was the waiver of a permit fee, two of them were giving himself raises, and one was the renewal of a health insurance policy that I'm still not certain of. I haven't seen any of the paperwork on that," Mayor Schafer stressed.
But Reed defends the raises.
"The council approved pay raises for all employees, excluding the council and the mayor," Reed said.
When asked if he considered himself a city employee, Reed answered, "Yes, I am an employee of the city."
Tuesday's council votes were meant to correct possible mistakes made in past actions, mistakes that don't sit well with some property owners, like Jeff Harding.
"They're asking for forgiveness, instead of asking for permission. I think that following laws is very important, especially when it has to do with taxpayers' money,' Harding said.
The vote to have the state auditor's office come into the city and conduct an independent audit was unanimous, including Mayor Schafer. One of the council members, Ernie Knobloch, explained it this way.
"I think it's just to double check everything. We're a new city. We started out four or five years ago, and we just want to make sure that everything that we're doing is legal, according to the state auditor," Knobloch explained.
Even so, the city may be treading some rough waters in the weeks ahead, according to Reed.
"I'm accustomed to dealing with leaders, strong leaders that want their way and have difficulties working with others. And that's what we have here."
The future of Reed's employment with the city did not come up at Tuesday's meeting.