LUBBOCK — When Progressive-era advocates pushed for municipal elections to be nonpartisan, they sought to remove party politics from local government. More than a century later, party politics appeared to have seeped back into down-ballot races, injecting political ideology into municipal affairs in places like Odessa — an oil town in West Texas.
During a town meeting this week, the Republican-backed majority on Odessa’s nonpartisan City Council voted as a bloc to terminate two city employees — the city manager and city attorney — without a clear cause. The vote came just weeks after three new City Council members were sworn in to office, and before those new members had spent significant time working with the employees they let go.
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