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Long commissioners, road boss clash
Wallace Shaw
Wallace Shaw - photo by File photo
LUDOWICI — Long County commissioners and their road superintendent had a heated exchange at a recent meeting over whether the commissioners were trying to fire the supervisor and whether road crews were completing work in the First District.
Wilfred Morris, who leads the road department, told commissioners he had a problem with Commissioners Wallace Shaw and David Richardson.
Morris told the Courier he went before the commissioners because he had been told by several people that both Shaw and Richardson were planning to remove him from his position. He said he was aware of a meeting four days earlier to discuss firing him.
“This thing (problem) with me and Wallace (Shaw) goes back 10 years. And then they had this meeting on Friday to fire me. That’s why I went before them,” Morris said.
First District Commissioner Richardson told the Courier he did not have anything personal against Morris, nor had he taken any steps to have him fired. But he did say he had a problem with road maintenance in his district.
“I have been turning in work orders repeatedly and they are not being taken care of. I’ve had recurring problems turned in on Cox/Porter Road and also Woods Lane, and the work is not being done,” he said.
According to Richardson, he has received complaints from a number of people in his district about upkeep in the area.
Shaw, who represents the Second District, said he had nothing personal against Morris either. But he had also gotten complaints on the road department.
“It has been an issue, and we have had numerous complaints that the roads were not being taken care of,” Shaw said.
Regarding the roads, Morris said the amount of rain this year has strained his department. He said his employees are doing the best they could do.
“We have been working all the time. We’re always swamped and most of our work is in their (Shaw and Richardson) districts because they have the most dirt roads. Really, if I had to say, most of the work has been in David’s (Richardson’s district),” Morris said.
Despite the efficiency of the road department, Shaw and Richardson said the way Morris came before  the commissioners was inappropriate.
“He (Morris) went before us telling us that he was his own boss, and that he didn’t work for nobody,” Richardson said. “The manner that he dealt with this situation was completely disrespectful to the board as a whole.”
Richardson added, “I probably have talked to him maybe three times, since I was elected. Normally I usually turn the work orders into Mary Ann (Odum, who is the Long county clerk) and she passes them on to him. But this issue does have to be dealt with because the taxpayers deserve a more efficient way of getting work done in the county.”
Shaw agreed with Richardson.
“We haven’t decided what we’re going to do with him on the behavioral matter,” Shaw said. “This should have never come up like it did at our meeting and we’ll deal with it accordingly. But we also have to sit down with him (Morris) and listen to what he has to say, and hear his side of the story, but he also has too listen to what we have to say.”
Morris said, “Them saying I don’t work for them is wrong. I’ve been there 25 years. People come up to me and say, can’t you do my road and I tell them, that’s not how it works, you have to go through the commissioners.”
Morris added, “I haven’t got any grudge against any of them. I will do all I can to get along: All they have to do is tell me what they want me to do and let me do it.”
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