Embattled City Manager Won't Quit

An embattled city manager says he's not going to step aside.  Phenix City Mayor Jeff Hardin gave city manager Bubba Roberts a letter on Monday, asking him to step down.

Roberts says he has been working with Phenix City for just over thirty years and about six of those years as city manager.  He says he was hurt and surprised by the mayor's letter.

"I work at the pleasure of the council and if the majority of the council wants me to go then I'll have to leave.  I'd like to stay until the end of the this term if that's not possible, this it's not possible," said Roberts.

Phenix City has a council-manager form of government, which means other city councilors have to agree with the mayor to oust the city manager.  "We hire city manager, city attorney, city clerk, and municipal judge.  Those are the only four the council is responsible for and it takes the majority vote of council to hire or remove someone," said John Storey City Councilman.

Mayor Jeff Hardin says in the letter to the city manger quote, "It seems from the beginning that our relationship has been of peaks and valleys and now I find myself with a person I can no longer communicate nor work with."

Which one councilor agrees, "Mr. Roberts occasionally has a temper and that causes sometime a confrontation," said Ray Bush, City Councilman.

Some think it is more power the mayor is seeking.  "I think it is just a thirst part of the mayor to control everything downtown," said Storey.

Mayor Jeff Hardin isn't talking, saying this is a personnel issue.  Right now, the mayor only presides over the council meetings and ceremonial events in the city.  Therefore, he have no administrative duties.

City manager Bubba Roberts told the mayor in a letter, he is willing to sit down and discuss concerns the mayor has at any time.