The Millersville City Commission appears to be at war over recent firings and replacement hires

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A special meeting in Millersville ended almost before it even started Friday and quickly turned into an impromptu City Hall discussion about the city’s lack of transparency.

At the beginning of the proceedings, Millersville Mayor Tommy Long asked newly appointed city attorney Bryant Kroll if commissioners could discuss recent employee terminations and replacement hires for the city manager, police chief and city attorney after a lawsuit was filed this week, alleging the city violated open meeting laws.

“In light of the pending lawsuit, my advice is to refrain from discussing these matters,” Kroll responded.

After the three-minute meeting adjourned, Commissioners Christina Templet and David Gregory stayed behind, speaking with constituents inside commission chambers about the perceived lack of communication among their colleagues.

The Millersville Commission fired the city manager, attorney and police chief within three days late last month. The city manager, Scott Avery, was fired with great fanfare during a town hall meeting while other officials were quietly fired via email.

Recent events appear to have started a war between the commissioners, with Long, Deputy Mayors Milton Dorris and Alyssa Holling on one side and Templet and Gregory on the other.

The pending lawsuit referred to at the meeting was filed by Templet’s husband.

Templet herself accused the newly sworn-in Long, Doris, and Holling of violating Tennessee’s open meetings law during the last town meeting after they voted, without discussion, to fire Avery. Minutes later, they voted to appoint Tina Tobin as interim city manager, again without discussion.

Christina Templet on Friday told about 30 people during the impromptu discussion that Tobin’s appointment after Avery’s firing was evidence of collusion between Holling, Doris and Long.

“I am tired of the lack of transparency of this committee,” she said. “I will definitely be transparent.”

After she was hired, Tobin quickly fired City Attorney Jack Friedel, emailing him less than 24 hours later. He filed the lawsuit on behalf of Templet’s husband.

Gregory said he has never done anything like this in his 11 years as commissioner. He asked the group of 30 people if they liked what was happening in the city. Many shook their heads no.

He said the city needs to meet, talk and vote in November.

In addition to the city manager and attorney, Millersville Police Chief Robert Richman, who moved to Tennessee from Texas before taking office in December, was fired by Tobin. He was appointed by a unanimous vote of the board weeks ago.

Now, Brian Morris serves as Millersville’s police chief, although it’s unclear when he was hired. Morris previously served as Ridgetop Police Chief and was there when the incident occurred The city suddenly disbanded its police department, citing budget concerns.

This article originally appeared in Nashville Tennessee: Commissioners argue during a brief Millersville meeting

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