NEW CARROLLTON, Md. (DC News Now) — Two New Carrollton City Council members are voicing concern about the future of the city. This came one day after the mayor fired their long-standing police chief on Tuesday.

Council members Briana Urbina and Katrina Dodro said this was something they knew was coming for a long time, but getting the news was heartbreaking.

“We still haven’t been informed as a council as to this major departure and how it’s going to affect our residents or who’s in command right now. But honestly, I wasn’t surprised. I actually expected this a lot earlier,” said Urbina.

“I want to say that I was shocked, but it was not a shock. It was just… sadness and anger because it was retaliatory. We were waiting for the mayor to start retaliating on people who have not done what she is wanting them to do,” said Dodro.

Mayor Phelecia Nembhard told DC News Now he was fired due to “personnel issues” and she could not comment further.

On Tuesday now-former Police Chief David Rice said his termination letter claimed he was insubordinate in several incidents in the past, but none of the incidents were brought to his attention. He believes he was terminated in retaliation for filing a complaint against the city for discrimination.

Council members believe losing former Chief Rice was a mistake — not only from a leadership perspective but also as a community member.

“The thing that makes Chief Rice special is the culture that he set within the police force. As a mother of a Black boy, it is really important to me that our police are culturally responsive, that they’re culturally competent, and that they’re leading with a sense of community,” said Urbina.

“Our residents deserve someone who cares about the safety and the community policing, especially with the emphasis on community that Chief Rice has given, so this has just been a loss for our community,” said Dodro.

This only adds to the many vacant leadership seats that still haven’t been filled.

“We don’t have anyone with any expertise in the top six roles in our city. Heaven forbid there was a mass casualty or a natural disaster, a flood, any type of real emergency — things like this happen all the time,” said Urbina.

Dodro is running against Nembhard for her seat. She said new leadership is needed.

“We have about 25% of our police force that has not been filled. We also have deep holes in our public works area as well, so that’s scary,” she said.

“We need that change with the mayor, and then we need someone in who is going to work with people, who is going to want to find the best customer-friendly resident forward leadership that has skills — and then we really need to start interacting with our community,” she continued.

Mayor Nembhard declined DC News Now’s repeated requests for an interview.

Urbina believes former Chief Rice could be reinstated if the city gets new leadership after next week’s election.

“We are going to do everything we can to bring chief rice back,” said Urbina.

“[Mayor Numbhard] just recently rehired a police officer who was convicted of police brutality, misconduct in office reckless endangerment and assault. That’s somebody she thinks should be working for the city. I am definitely terrified about who she thinks she’d be leading the police. Is there anything else,” she continued.

Despite the big change, they both remain optimistic about the future of the city of New Carrollton.

“We’re going to really clean up and make sure that things like this never happen again,” said Urbina.

Both the mayor’s office and five council seats are on the ballot this coming Monday, election day.