STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Despite overwhelming support from Starkville residents, Lynn Spruill is officially out. It was a packed house at City Hall Tuesday night. More than 100 people turned up. That lead to a spirited back and forth debate between Lynn Spruill supporters and the Board.
When they took office earlier this month, the new board voted 5 to 2 to not rehire Lynn Spruill as the city’s day to day operations manager. Mayor Parker Wiseman vetoed that decision. This evening the Board voted the same way, overrode Wiseman’s veto and relieved Spruill from her duties once and for all. We caught up with Mayor Wiseman and Lynn Spruill.
“It was really disappointing to me, really disappointing not because I disagreed with the decision that was made but I had some real issues with the process. Certainly terminating an employee in a public context is a matter of public concern and I feel to do so with no explanation to either the employee or the public is somewhat indecent,” said Mayor Park Wiseman.
“There may be some personal animosity that I’m not aware of, there just may be some sense of what I’ve done in the last 8 years that they don’t think that works for how they want to proceed. As long as they go forward in a positive way then I can wish them the best,” said Lynn Spruill.
At one point during the vote mayor Wiseman walked out. He told us that he has a responsibility as mayor to run the meeting in an unbiased manner, and he felt he needed to remove himself from the vote.
Needless to say, Spruill’s supporters were none too happy with the Board’s decision.
“She’s very qualified and dedicated and I just think it’s a travesty that they have given no reason for firing her,” said supporter Wanda Thorne.
“I think the citizens reacted as I anticipated, they’re very disappointed, they want to know why their representatives acted the way they did,” added supporter Lydia Quarles.
“The single most significant sign that there was an issue was the fact that the 2 Alderman that did not vote in favor of the termination were not even given the privilege of being able to discuss it as a personal matter in executive session,” said supporter Richard Cory.
“It was a real shame that Ben Carver still refused to give a reason and call the mayor a coward for leaving the room,” added supporter Milo Burnham.
Spruill’s impressive resume includes a law degree, years of experience as military pilot, and a distinguished career in municipal politics.
The override came five to two, five votes were needed for it to pass.