MANSFIELD — After more than 34 years of service to the city of Mansfield, former police chief Phil Messer was relieved as director of the city’s Service and Safety Department on Dec. 5. For the first time since 1976, he wasn’t involved in the city’s law enforcement and public safety arena. But he was on the outside looking in for a mere four days, as he was offered and accepted a new post with the Mansfield Finance Department, created with him in mind, on Dec. 9.
Financially strapped Mansfield has been in a financial state of emergency since August 2010. It is working to implement a recovery plan with direction from a Performance Report conducted by the state auditor’s office. The unsettled city government experienced a top-down shake-up in November’s election as the incumbent mayor, finance director and law director all lost bids for re-election.