Grieving family claims a city official almost prevented their loved one from being buried

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There's a big feud between a family and the town of Superior, specifically the town manager. Although the family wants everyone to know what they went through, the town manager was less than thrilled to sit down with 3 On Your Side and told us this:

"I have another appointment."

3 On Your Side: "Do you know the policies? We’re trying to be fair."

Melanie Oliver, Superior Town Manager initially agreed sit down and to talk to 3 On Your Side but she changed her mind at the last minute and walked off. Some say it's not surprising.

"It appears she can make her own rules and conduct herself as she pleases." Senyssa Manriquez and many of her relatives are pretty upset with Melanie Oliver, saying a recent decision she made almost kept them from burying a loved one.

Niki Fernandez says her brother recently and suddenly passed away. And both Senyssa and Niki said when it came to burying their loved one something unusual happened. They claim they went to Superior Town Hall the day before the funeral and paid $900 for a cemetery plot and burial but later that evening Niki said she received a disturbing phone call.

"I got a call from the town manager Melanie Oliver and she told me they made a $1,100 mistake and that my brother wouldn’t be buried unless we had the money to her by 5:00pm that day."

According to Niki, Melanie told her she didn't consider her brother to be a resident of Superior and non-residents had to pay more to be buried.

"My response to that is that he is (a resident), he just recently moved back w/ my dad, he's always lived here he went to school here he did everything here," said Niki.

Feeling pressured, Niki says her only option was to hand over the $1,100 the day of the funeral, where Melanie Oliver showed up with a uniformed police officer to collect.

"She said we need it or we won't bury your brother."

The family says they were shocked. "It is a concern that she can make up any rule and just go by it and change whoever, whatever when she feels like it and get away with it," said Niki.


Melanie Oliver initially agreed to sit down with a 3 On Your Side producer to talk about the issue but just moments into our interview she changed her mind when we asked her about the town policy on burials.

Melanie: "You haven't given us the chance."

Producer: "We're here right now."

Melanie: "You haven't give us the chance to because I was not forewarned."

Producer: "But you are the Town Manager, so you should be prepared to speak on the policies.

Melanie: "Yes, but I have another appointment to get to."

That other appointment she said, was a sewage meeting and she didn't want to talk about any town policies or if there is one when it comes burials.

Producer: "What is your current policy on this issue? Can you just tell us that, at least?

Melanie: "I have another appointment."

The deputy town manager later acknowledged there are no written policies in regards to the resident versus non-resident burials but they are working on drafting one. 3 On Your Side will do a follow-up report on the issue.