EASTON — The never-ending saga in Easton has turned another page.
Mayor Walter Ward has said he would use his “executive powers” to accomplish his goals for economic development and annexation in Easton despite opposition from at least half of the six-member City Council.
“So I’m going to be using my executive powers so they can get ready for it,” Ward told the News-Journal. “That means that I’ve going to be making some decisions, and if they don’t agree with it, then they’re going to have to move on.”
His statement comes after Councilwoman Shearon Coleman revealed an audio recording Monday of a recent phone conversation she had with Ward.
In the recording, Coleman asked whether Ward had given City Secretary Precious Wafer the title of city administrator after the council denied the promotion during a special meeting in September.
Ward could be heard saying that Wafer would have to become city administrator and that he would was “going to have to make an executive decision.”
When asked by the News-Journal whether Wafer’s job title had changed to city administrator, he answered, “That is not true as of right now.”
Ward also said that he wanted to work with neighboring cities on projects that would help the city grow but that it was “very, very difficult” because of resistance from three members of the council.
“I think two are persuaded by one, is what I figured,” Ward said, later saying that Councilwoman LaToyya Wright-Young was leading Coleman and Janeene Lucas, also a council member.
“I just don’t understand what her and Ms. Coleman and (Lucas) have got in their head, but like I keep trying to tell them, where the city is trying to go in the next 20 years, we have to have an administrator to help us do what we’re trying to do. We’re working on a lot of different things to improve the city, and you’ve got those three councilmen who just don’t want to cooperate with anything,” the mayor said.
“When it comes to something that’s going to benefit the city, they vote against it,” he said.
Wright-Young said she’s not persuading anyone to do anything but said the mayor “is only a tiebreaker vote.” The council is made up of five council members and the mayor.
Wright-Young also vowed not to support creating a city administrator’s job in Easton.
“We’re not going to pay somebody $30 an hour in Easton,” Wright-Young said.