Voices, ire raised behind closed doors

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A heated, closed-door discussion Tuesday night produced noresolution in filling an inspector’s position within the BrookhavenFire Department.

The board met in executive session with Fire Chief Bob Watts formore than an hour Tuesday night. Officials announced no action wastaken during the closed hearing, which was called to discuss anemployment matter and a discipline matter.

Raised voices, particularly that of Ward One Alderman DorseyCameron, could be heard outside the boardroom in the governmentcomplex lobby. Officials were discussing the fire inspector’sposition in the Fire Department.

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After about 45 minutes, Mayor Bob Massengill emerged from themeeting and went to his office for a brief moment. The mayor, whohad no comment on the situation, appeared frustrated as he thenleft the government complex.

Shortly before the rest of the board returned from executivesession, Cameron also walked out of the meeting and left thegovernment complex.

“I don’t agree with what we’re doing,” Cameron said when pressedfor comment on the issue.

Cameron said the Fire Department had a current employee, whom hedid not identify, who was qualified for the fire inspectorposition. He questioned the recommended hiring of a woman he saidwas not qualified.

“I totally disagree with that,” Cameron said.

Watts and other city officials questioned had no comment on theexecutive session discussion.

Shortly after the mayor left, aldermen took a break from themeeting. During the break, Watts spoke with Rochelle Mackbee, whohad been waiting just outside the boardroom, and she left thebuilding.

Aldermen then resumed the closed meeting.