EXCLUSIVE: Wallace Hunter: 'We're putting the past in the past.' - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

EXCLUSIVE: Wallace Hunter: 'We're putting the past in the past.'

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PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

We spoke to a reluctant Wallace Hunter in the middle what he says was picking up where he left off.

He tells News Leader Nine that he did not want to go on camera for fear of dragging the issues of the last few weeks out even further, but he agreed to talk over the phone in an effort to put his firing and re-hiring to rest, and continue moving Phenix City forward.

Hunter explains, "We went through an unfortunate chain of events, and things here lately, and a lot of people have learned from it. The community has become more involved."

Hunter says there is a silver lining despite the controversy around his position. Two weeks after being voted out by Phenix City leaders, Hunter is back in the office.

"We was in the middle of a budget, and we're in the middle of changing things around--major things, like with our cemeteries in the city," Hunter said. "It was quite a lot of work that was left, you know, basically left undone."

To accomplish these things and others, Hunter says the Council and the people of Phenix City will have to let go of ill-feelings and move forward.

News Leader Nine's Tyrone McCoy asks Hunter, "And that's kind of part of why you didn't want to go on camera or even talk about this? Because you didn't want it to be drug out anymore?"

Hunter replied, "That's correct. I care about this city. A lot of people got to realize that I care about the people in it. I especially care about the people that I work with."

Differences aside, Hunter says now that he's back in office, he plans to continue working with the Council and the public to advance Phenix City.

He adds, "I work for five council people, I can say, and I'm going to work as hard for all five of them until the day I leave here. And it's things that we've got to do. So, I hope people will follow that motto as far as trying their best to get along with everyone, that we're putting the past in the past."

Hunter went back to work on June 4, just one day after being reinstated. He says he intends to fulfil the role of city manager in Phenix City until the term ends in 2016. Then, he plans to retire.

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