A Delaware County borough manager is without a job after another fiery council meeting.
Paula Brown walked out of the executive council meeting early Monday night. She later learned she was no longer the Colwyn Borough manager after a week of uncertainty.
Monday morning Brown arrived at work and changed the "closed" sign to "open" before entering the hall. She spent part of last week holed up in the same suburban Philadelphia borough hall – doing business through a cracked window – as she protected what she claimed were crucial documents for a county investigation.
Brown’s barricade came after four members of the town’s seven-member council voted to remove both Brown and council president Paul Meuser -- after Meuser adjourned Thursday night’s meeting, which featured screaming matches and arguments between council members and residents over money.
Brown's future running the borough's daily operations remained in jeopardy Monday after a weekend that included news of a $1-million budget shortfall that caused a local business to cancel its contract fueling the borough's firetrucks and police vehicles.
"Payroll cannot be submitted if I'm not in my position this week," Brown said Monday. "Police officers will not have paychecks."
Colwyn Mayor Michael Blue called the situation a crisis, claiming the borough can’t even provide the most basic services.
“The police vehicles are barely running on a limp leg,” Blue said. “Now they don’t have any gas. How are they gonna patrol just in case we get an emergency in Colwyn?”
The factious relationship before the borough's leadership boiled over Thursday night. Fred Lesher, a former Brown and Meuser ally, declared himself the new leader of the council at Thursday's meeting.
“We actually got rid of a factional council that was causing lots of trouble,” said Lesher.
Lesher, who serves as finance chair, suggested the elimination of the borough manager position -- instead replacing it with separate treasurer and office administrator positions in a cost-cutting measure.
It wasn’t clear if the vote to remove Brown was legal or not. Brown said she would only stop running the borough if a judge said so.
A special executive session -- closed to the public -- took place Monday night to discuss Brown's future. It was ultimately decided that Brown would no longer hold her position.
After the meeting Brown as well as her critics and supporters screamed at each other in the streets.
For years, the NBC10 Investigators have covered political unrest in Colwyn including allegations of “back room” funding deals and even Brown saying her tires were slashed after she spoke out against the fire department.
Police say they have orders to arrest Brown if she tries to get back into the borough hall. Brown says she'll be back Tuesday morning however and plans to go in with a police escort for her paperwork and personal items.