KENLY, N.C. (WNCN) – Kenly may be a small town, but Friday it let it be known that its concerns are big.
“We just want to support the town manager who has been doing a good job and you just want to make sure the process is fair, whatever is done,” Pastor Jonathan Ford said.
Ford, along with dozens of community members with different opinions, gathered in front of town hall Friday evening.
“But listen, we have a great police department. She is not for our police department,” Christel McGowan said as she held a sign in support of the police department.
This all comes after the town’s police chief, Josh Gibson, said he and his department’s four full-time officers, along with the town’s utility clerk and assistant manager, turned in their two weeks’ notice on Wednesday.
Gibson said this week it is because of the environment the new town manager has created.
The town manager, Justine Jones, started last month.
Friday evening, town leaders held an emergency meeting between the council and town manager.
Prior to it, concerned residents held a town hall with Mayor Tooie Hales to discuss what has been going on.
Longtime resident Josia Jackson was there.
“This is a shock,” Jackson said. “When a small town like this, and all of a sudden, the people that you’ve known for all of these years, say I’m out of here.”
Minutes later people packed the council chambers before they emptied the room so that council members could have their closed session meeting.
More than one hour later, town council decided not to take any action on the matter.
“So, we are where we were,” Hales said. “The town still has a patrol, and we still have police coverage.”
CBS 17 did reach out to the town manager earlier this week, but she could not comment and ended up referring us to the town’s attorney.
Mayor Hales said there will be another emergency meeting next week that will be open to the public.