An executive session on the agenda of tonight's Longview city council meeting ends heatedly. In that private meeting, council members were set to discuss the performance, evaluation, duties, and succession plan for the City Manager.
Tonight's meeting went along as normal that is until that executive session, which ended with shouting and all members going their separate ways. On the agenda tonight, it reads council members were to discuss the performance and duties of the City Manager, Rickey Childers.
Earlier today the mayor said that the item had been on the agenda for the past two months and that they were coming up with a succession plan when Childers left. While council members were in that executive session, we waited nearby and after about half an hour, we heard loud yelling coming from the room.
At that point, council member Tommy Finklea and Mayor Jay Dean left the building abruptly. We followed after them into the parking lot where our cameras were rolling and this is what we saw and heard.
Councilman Finklea says "I won't go your way no more. It's on now." After which both parties got in their cars and drove off. Now we don't know what was going on behind closed doors, all we know at this point is that according to the agenda, the council was discussing the performance of the City Manager and coming up with a plan after his departure.
We did stick around after the outburst to speak with other council members and City Manager Rickey Childers, but all refused to comment.
Tommy Finklea did call our station about 20 minutes before the 10pm newscast and said he was sorry he could not give me an interview, that he was in no condition to comment at the time. But he did say he would sit down with us tomorrow about this in an interview. Our plan now is to talk to council members tomorrow to find out what may have happened behind close doors to spark just a heated ending.