Town of Sunset Beach Mayor Robert Forrester resigned following a contentious town council meeting Monday night, during which council members voted 3-2 to terminate the employment of Town Administrator Susan Parker.
Council members Jan Harris, Mark Benton and Richard Cerrato voted in favor of firing Parker.
“This is a severe loss to the town, the action taken was in deprivation of the 4,000 residents in Sunset Beach,” Forrester said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “In my opinion, this decision was based on personality conflicts and personal vendettas.”
When asked why they wanted to fire Parker, the three council members took a unified stance of wanting to go in a “new direction,” but would not comment further, Forrester said.
In addition to Forrester announcing his resignation, Finance Director Bonnie Bray also said she intended to resign.
"The public showing up to voice their opinion (at the meeting) was democracy at its best, but the majority vote – because of the lack of transparency – was democracy at its worst," Bray said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “I spent 25 years in local government and Susan Parker was hands down the best manager I’ve worked for.”
A request for comment from the three council members who voted to terminate Parker was not immediately returned.
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