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Secretary's notes prove contentious at meeting

Secretary's notes prove contentious at meeting

May 16th, 2018 by Greg Bischof in Texarkana News

The New Boston City Council is seated for a special meeting Friday, April 6, 2018 in New Boston, Texas. From left are City Secretary Darla Faulknor, Councilman Greg Harmon, Councilman Richard Ellis, City Attorney Mike Brock, Mayor Johnny Branson, Councilman Joe Dike and Councilman David Turner. Councilman Jackie Laney is not pictured.

NEW BOSTON, Texas—Fallout created during the last few contentious New Boston City Council meeting spilled somewhat into the council's Tuesday meeting.

The contentiousness started and continued in both the regular and special council meetings of March 20, April 6, 17, 28 and May 3 involving the in-house firing of New Boston Police Lt. Johnny Millwood, followed by the council's subsequent firing of Police Chief Tony King and later the council's attempt to fire City Secretary Darla Faulknor regarding access to municipal personnel files.

Some heat started when Council Member Joe Dike said there were several problems with the April 17 meeting minutes. These included stating that the 6 p.m. meeting adjourned at 6:07 p.m. when in fact that was what happened at the January meeting.

Dike went on say the minutes show a conversation regarding the council and mayor having the authority to inspect personnel files upon request were characterized as an attempt to pull the city secretary's office "into a playground fight caused by a bully—Joe Dike."

"I don't consider myself a bully by wanting to look at personnel files because as a council member that is my right," he said.

Dike went on to say after the meeting that "personal opinions and inaccurate statements cannot appear in the minutes."

After Dike's comments, council members agreed to have Dike submit a written amendment to the minutes as recorded and give them to Faulknor, after which the council would consider approving the the minutes at June's city meeting.

In other business, council members elected Dike to be the new mayor pro-tem so that he can act in case of the mayor's absence at a meeting.

Following his new appointment, Dike said he would like to change the city's personnel policy back to allowing municipal employees the chance to appeal terminations.

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