Meridian, Miss. Longtime Meridian city clerk and chief financial officer Ed Skipper is walking us through the moments he learned he was losing his job.
This past week, Mayor Percy Bland told Skipper it was time for the city to go in a different direction. Skipper says he asked for an explanation on that different direction, but says he was not given one. Skipper says he was told he had done nothing wrong.
"But I was then escorted back to my office and to collect my personal effects," Skipper recalls. "Turn over the keys and remove those and leave the building, which I did. Which I really didn't have time to thank my employees and speak to them the way I would have liked to have."
Skipper says communication with the mayor seemed to be an issue, but as with all prior mayors, he has tried to keep Mayor Bland up to date on things.
"I try to communicate, advise, and recommend and go through the process with any mayor or new mayors," he says. "That is a two-way process and if I don't know something, I can't do anything about it if I don't know about it."
Skipper understands that the mayor has the right to appoint people to power, but there was no written notification to him or the city council before he was fired. The president of the city council only found out about the firing through word of mouth.
"We didn't feel good that we didn't know what was happening, that was a big concern," George Thomas admits. "The major concern is that he's done such a good job through all these years. Why would you get rid of a person who has received recognition for his excellent work."
Skipper worked for the city for more than 35 years.