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Goliad City Council absorbs administrator position

By SARA PRIEST , Sara Sneath
Aug. 5, 2014 at 5:42 p.m.


The Goliad City Council officially called a special election to fill the vacant seats on the council Tuesday night. But the position of city administrator was temporarily absorbed by the mayor and city secretary.

Mayor Anna Lopez Machacek previously said she was not interested in the city administrator position and that performing the daily responsibilities of that job would take her away from her mayoral goals.

"In this process, we will see what already pertained to me. Until we go through this process, we won't know what is additional," Machacek said.

The city administrator position was established by a 2004 ordinance. But Machacek said Tuesday the ordinance conflicted with state law because the duties assigned to the administrator were actually those assigned to the city secretary and mayor. As a result, the council repealed the ordinance establishing the city administrator position.

An item on the agenda would have indefinitely shifted the administrator's duties to the mayor and city secretary with compensation. The council ultimately voted to table that decision until its Sept. 2 meeting, ultimately giving the city secretary and the mayor the duties for the next month.

Pam Long, the city secretary, agreed to perform a share of the duties performed by the administrator but wants financial compensation for those duties, Machacek said.

Long did not say what she would require as compensation and agreed to delay the decision for 30 days.

"Let's just get through this budget season," Long said.

The move by the City Council to delay the decision allows time to work through the duties of city administrator and determine which should be done by the mayor, which should be performed by the city secretary and how much to compensate the secretary, Machacek said.

Goliad's government style does not require a city administrator said Councilwoman Cheryl Worley, who also served on the City Council from 1982 to 1988 and as mayor from 1988 to 1990. During Worley's previous eight years in city government, there was no city administrator.

"The mayor is the budgetary authority. That's not us saying that. It's state law," Worley said. "I know how well we can work with a city secretary and staff, and I think we can do that again and get within reason and not have this power play that happened."

The four vacancies - two on City Council, the city administrator and city attorney - came after a flood of resignations beginning when the city administrator accused the mayor of trying to take his job.

Hernan Jaso, who served as mayor of Goliad before Worley agreed with Worley's assessment that the city can function well without an administrator but said he feared the mayor would seek compensation for duties previously assigned to the administrator.

"They better not come up with mayor compensation," Jaso said. "That's not right."

The City Council also voted to increase regular meetings to every Tuesday and Thursday. Without a super majority, the council does not have the authority to call a special meeting, which may be necessary to work through the budget in the coming weeks, Machacek said.

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