Tensions are expected to be high at Tuesday’s Willows City Council meeting as council members conduct a performance evaluation of the city manager who has come under fire after the council voted to terminate the police chief's contract.
Over the past two months, tempers have flared several times as the Willows City Council voted twice to terminate the contract of Police Chief Bill Spears.
The council says the move was made as a way to save $86,000.
The chief's supporters say there's a lot more to the issue than just balancing the budget and are calling for city manager Steve Holsinger's termination.
"This business with Chief Spears and what they are doing is wrong, dead wrong. He's done a lot for this community and it's a vendetta," Willows resident Barbara LaDoucer said.
Spears' supporters say the termination was in retaliation for the June 2009 arrest of Holsinger's wife on a DUI charge.
During the ensuing trial the city manager claimed Willows Police officers targeted his wife because of his decision to layoff officers.
That accusation was dismissed in the spring of 2011 and Holsinger's wife pleaded guilty to the charge; but not before the Willows Police Officers Union issued a vote of no confidence in the city manager.
Holsinger later apologized for the statement, but the police chief's supporter's claim he has held a grudge against spears and his officers which was the "real” reason behind the chief's termination.
Over the past few weeks, those same supporters have been gathering signatures on a petition asking the council to fire Holsinger and plan to present them at Tuesday's meeting.
Those who are on the outside looking in say they just want the council and administration to get back to looking out for the best interest of the citizens.
"If everybody just worked together and did things that were logical, for the common good, then it would be much better," Jennifer Bracewell said.
Chief Spears will remain on the job until his contract expires at the end of the year.
He's also running for one of the seats on the willows council in the coming election.