San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz, left, and City Attorney Michael Cosentino, right, confer in City Clerk Sherry Mashburn’s office at City Hall following a meeting in which the San Marcos City Council voted to fire City Manager Rick Menchaca. Photo by Sean Batura.
By BILL PETERSON
By a 4-3 vote at the end of a session that was all but secretly held, the San Marcos City Council fired City Manager Rick Menchaca Thursday night, effective immediately.
Asked about what brought on the council’s decision, San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz said the council was not at liberty to discuss it because it’s a personnel matter. Other councilmembers later said they were bound by legal considerations to not discuss the firing.
Menchaca will be compensated as provided by his contract, which includes his unused vacation and sick time. However, Menchaca said later Thursday night that he has not signed an agreement for six months of severance pay and will explore his legal options.
Following an executive session lasting two hours and 14 minutes Thursday night, Narvaiz asked for a motion as to whether to terminate Menchaca. Several seconds passed before Councilmember Fred Terry motioned for the firing. After a slightly shorter wait, Councilmember Ryan Thomason seconded the motion.
Councilmember Chris Jones joined Narvaiz, Terry and Thomason in voting to fire Menchaca. Councilmembers John Thomaides, Gaylord Bose and Kim Porterfield voted against the action.
The council did not make a provision as to who would serve as the next city manager, or who would serve during an interim period until a permanent city manager is found.
The meeting took place in a back chamber behind the regular city council chamber, rather than in the regular chamber or the staff meeting room where the council normally often holds workshops. The meeting also was not televised either on the city’s public access station or on the city’s web site.
San Marcos City Clerk Sherry Mashburn posted the meeting outside City Hall Monday at 6 p.m., as required by law. Mashburn said she also posted the meeting at the same time on the city’s web site. However, the agenda was only on the MuniAgenda utility on the website and came up only after several attempts. The agenda was not posted on the city clerk’s page of the website that normally posts them, and email subscribers to the agenda did not receive it.
The city hired Menchaca effective on May 1, 2008 at an annual salary of $170,000. He had been out of work for a year after seven years as the city manager in Midland.
Said Menchaca as he took the job: “This community here, where it sits, not just physically, but also in its state of evolution, with the university (Texas State University), its education systems and its transportation systems, I believe it has the right, key ingredients to be the community it wants to be.”Email | Print