Whiteville City Council to vote on the termination of the city's manager

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - Whiteville's City Council is considering making an abrupt change at the top of the town's government.

According to Mayor Dial Gray, the city council will vote to either keep or fire Whiteville City Manager Josh Ray.

"I'm kind of upset because it's some young blood, and he's done a lot in the short amount of time he's been here," said Whiteville City resident David Butler.

Butler said Ray is responsible for getting two new baseball fields built, and has helped the city reduce crime by 23%.

The mayor of Whiteville told the Whiteville newspaper that he was disappointed with the progress of several city projects, and he didn't like the lack of communication Ray has with city council members.

A city manager is responsible for running the government at the council's direction, and Ray admits he should have done a better job communicating with his bosses.

"A lot of issues doesn't make it to city council, and that is a problem on my part," said Ray.  "Anytime council doesn't feel educated that's a poor showing on the city manager."

But council member Terry Mann doesn't think that is enough reason to fire Ray.

"There's been four or five towns our size that are looking for city managers over a year now and it's going to be a slow process if Josh is terminated," said Mann.

Ray has been the city manager of Whiteville for nearly two years.  City council will vote on his termination during the meeting on Tuesday, January 13.