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City manager's job performance timing generates dispute

By DAVID TEWES
May 3, 2010 at 12:03 a.m.


CITY COUNCIL MEETING

The city council will also consider permanently closing Railwood Drive, a small street that leads into the Woodway Subdivision.

Mayor Will Armstrong said people are using it as a shortcut to avoid the traffic lights at Nursery Drive and the Zac Lentz Parkway, prompting complaints from residents.

Armstrong said the problem is expected to get worse when the West High School opens this fall. Another vote by the council will be required before the decision is final.

An argument could be brewing over whether the city manager's job performance and pay should be reviewed Tuesday and whether it should be done in open session.

Victoria City Council Member Gabriel Soliz said he's asked for the job performance to be publicly conducted Tuesday during the 5 p.m. council meeting. It will be in the Council Chamber at 107 W. Juan Linn St.

"This is the taxpayers' money," he said. "They need to know how we're going to spend it and where we're going to spend it."

Mayor Will Armstrong said he's not pleased the request was made just days before Saturday's city council election. Both Soliz and Armstrong are up for re-election.

Armstrong said he doesn't believe City Manager Charles Windwehen will be evaluated until after the election and that it will be done in closed session.

"Gabriel is going to have to get a consensus of the council," Armstrong said. "But I'm under the opinion I have enough influence with some of the council that we we'll set a later date for this."

Soliz said the city council minutes state that Armstrong said last year the evaluation should take place in early April.

"For whatever reasons there are, they'd rather deal with this after the political action," Soliz said. "I'm pretty sure it's going to be an uncomfortable talk, especially six days prior to the election."

But he said he didn't make the rules, he's only trying to see that the council follows them.

Armstrong did not deny making the statement.

"We'll, I'm sorry I said that," he said. "When we bring it up Tuesday, I'm going to go ahead and say I made a mistake."

He added that he failed to see the significance of the possible connection of conducting the review and the election.

Soliz said it's only fair to all city employees, including Windwehen, for their evaluations to be done on a timely basis.

"The bottom line is we're responsible to the citizens for what we do in a timely manner," he said. "We're also responsible to Charles to get this done in a timely manner."

Armstrong said Windwehen needs to be allowed time to conduct a self-evaluation and then prepare to make a report to the council.

"I don't like the idea of one council person tying up a bunch of staff time," he said. "If there is a consensus we should discuss some things and spend some staff time on it, then that's fine."

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