Following an emotional but civil evening of public testimonials, the Greenville city council voted 5-2 to terminate the contract of city manager Steven Alexander.
The move comes shortly after Greenville voters approved bonds funding a new YMCA and significant infrastructural improvements and repairs.
Over 100 people filled the main hall of Greenville's municipal building to attend the meeting. The public commentary period before the council tended to city business lasted over an hour and a half.
Of the 40 citizens who spoke to the council, 32 spoke in favor of keeping Alexander, while four expressed opposition to Alexander's employment. Four others either conveyed ambivalence about the city manager or addressed unrelated topics.
A recurrent theme throughout the evening was the relationship between the city government and L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, an aerospace and defense contractor that is the largest employer in Greenville. Opponents of Alexander's employment with the city blamed the city manager for a climate of mistrust between city officials and L-3.
Mayor Steve Reid said the council will soon name an interim city manager.
Reid said the termination of Alexander’s contract will necessitate a buyout, but did not specify an amount. Greenville city human resources director Barry Robinson was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.