Request for city manager review fails


May 4, 2010 at 12:04 a.m.

A call to evaluate the job performance of Victoria's city manager Tuesday failed after the mayor claimed it was a ploy to influence the upcoming city council election.

"It's obvious this is a request to influence Saturday's election," Mayor Will Armstrong said.

But Council Member Gabriel Soliz, who called for the evaluation to be conducted in public Tuesday, said he was only trying to do what's right.

"He's entitled to his perception of what reality is," Soliz said of Armstrong. "We're going to have our differences."

Soliz said Monday he asked for the job performance to be publicly conducted because the taxpayers have the right know how and where their money is going to be spent.

He also said Armstrong had said last year that the evaluation of City Manager Charles Windwehen's performance should be conducted in early April and that hasn't happened.

Armstrong said Tuesday he made a mistake by making that statement and said he failed to realize the possible political connection of conducting the evaluation before a council election.

"I suspect this is some type of strategy to affect the election," he said of the request from Soliz.

He said council candidate Jeff Williams and Victoria businessman James Wayne were conspiring with Soliz to help Williams win the election. Williams is running against incumbent Super District 6 Council Member Tom Halepaska.

Armstrong said Wayne has contributed $5,000 to Williams' campaign.

Williams, who was at the meeting, objected to Armstrong's comments. "Anytime you want to have a one-on-one discussion, I'd appreciated you calling me instead of defaming me in public."

Armstrong won a consensus of the council to instead have an orientation session for the council after the election and then evaluate Windwehen. The only objection came from Soliz.



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