As promised on Point/Counterpoint San Marcos, which aired on SMTX.tv Wednesday, San Marcos Local News has assembled three performance evaluations of former San Marcos City Manager Rick Menchaca for download.
The city hired Menchaca effective May 1, 2008. On June 24, the San Marcos City Council fired Menchaca by a 4-3 vote.
The PDFs now are available for download on the links below. For a summary of the evaluations, as reported by San Marcos Local News, click here.
Be sure to tune in to Point/Counterpoint San Marcos Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. on SMTX.tv.
Menchaca evaluation from December 2008.
Menchaca evaluation dated June 1, 2009.
Menchaca evaluation dated June 1, 2010.Email | Print
Is it just more or does it look like in the June 1st, 2009 evaluation John Thomaides was writing the comments on his evaluations to Rick personally?
Wow. These three documents were very disturbing to read. With this information in hand, not knowing anything further of substance in the personnel situation per se, it seems like “parting ways” was the best decision for everybody involved. What a shame.
I’m assuming Round Top Consulting Associates has good backup for their assertions, and at the same time that they can protect the confidentiality of those who expressed their concerns. Maybe that’s why they got input from (so many) 33 different individuals?
Let’s hope the Mayor and City Council select a better fit this time, and that we implement more timely feedback loops to provide course correction when and as appropriate. This should not have taken two years to come to a head.
And, with the elections coming up so soon, I believe it would be far better for the Mayor and City Council to make the final (new City Manager) selection AFTER the November election and AFTER everybody is sworn into office.
I have not expressed an opinion on the firing of the City Manager because I did not have enough knowledge of what was going on in his office to speak one way or another. The citizens of San Marcos would have been better served if the problems with managing employees had been made more open a year ago.
This is not my concern. My concern has been the process by which this firing occurred. The whole thing, like many other City issues, was conducted in the dark and in secret. The Mayor and Council may have meet the legal requirements for posting the firing meeting but they sure did not meet the spirit of the open meetings law. This is the major problem we have with our current Mayor and Council. Every thing is a secret.
I wrote the following last week but did not post it because I became aware that others were seeking some of the same information I requested. It is now apparent that many of the items I have requested are not duplicates but addressed more to the notices and process regarding the meeting where the City Manager was fired.
Today, June 28th at 2:35, I submitted the attached Open Records Request to the City Secretary’s office. I have removed my private information. The second attachment is a word document that makes the actual request for information. I have asked to view 8 specific records or items. It is my guess that the city will try to deny the request using the personnel and litigation request. My research of the Open Records act indicates that the specific way each of the requests is phrased, the Attorney General’s office will confirm my research and order the City to answer.
The clock is running. The City has 10 days to provide the requested information or to request an exemption from the Attorney General.
I am not interested in the how’s and whys of the firing of the City Manager. I am interested in the process through which this action occurred. We have allowed the City to conduct more and more proceedings behind closed doors. I felt that it was time to try to stop some of this nonsense. We can all yell and scream but until we begin to take hard actions, nothing will change.
I hold all of the members of the Council, the Mayor and city staff accountable for the secret meeting last week. Regardless of how you voted on the firing, you should have refused to be a party to the cover up of the meeting and refused to attend. Each and everyone of you is culpable of deceiving the citizens of San Marcos if you let the City Attorney bully you into making no comments regarding the secret meeting and the actions that were taken at the secret meeting. The law does not require you to be silent and any and all damage that will lead to court action is already done. Each of you know that a settlement will be made and there will be no litigation. Since the ex-city manager, presumably, already know all the details of his firing and you as Council and Mayor know all the details, the only ones in the dark are the citizens of San Marcos. If you are being bullied into secret meetings and illegal acts by the Mayor as some of you claim, then you have nobody else but yourselves to blame. You can lose the vote but you do not have to participate in the unethical meetings.
“The preamble of the Public Information Act is codified at section 552.001 of the Government Code. It declares the basis for the policy of open government expressed in the Public Information Act. It finds that basis in “the American constitutional form of representative government” and “the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people.” It further explains this principle in terms of the need for an informed citizenry:”
From the Texas Attorney General’s web site.
Mr. Sims seems to believe the great boil on the nose of City Council, assuming it to be a single employee or the gracelessness required to terminate him suddenly is the problem, and that citizens should have a closer look at the inflammation beneath (power struggle on the CC) as the cause of the pus and swelling and pain.
If that is so, might there have been some recent historical data about how much and whence and why there has been similar Administrative-level turnover? Of course, most departures are cosmetically ASCRIBED to retirement eligibility, a better offer, or the usual “wanting to be closer to my family.” Is the current, unseemly and costly kerfuffle unique? Are we retaining loyal employees based on their work environment, pay, and job satisfaction?
That still cannot account for the apparently top-secret facts or the rather strange abandonment of near-universal personnel procedures and timing one sees across the country, in business, government, and industry, including slots filled by “at will” or “serving at the discretion” clauses. Yet more consultants mystify me–what do they know, not sharing the ongoing CH environment? Do the math, vote your conscience and move on, without the explosion. Done conscientiously, the normal process need not involve lawsuits or big Court settlements or perpetual revenge.
I am honestly not seeing the issue here. Even if they would have posted it on the website and published the meeting in the local newspaper and on TV, the meeting itself still would have been an executive session due to the nature of the matter being discussed. Executive sessions are not open to the public and so you would not have been able to sit in on all of the gory details anyway. I still think there are facts that have not completely come out. Maybe there was urgent action needed. I find it strange that the the council required financial reporting direct to them as a condition of continued employment on the managers review. Something is still missing. I say, as I did when this first broke, let’s let the dust settle a little before we crucify the City Council
Maybe the next City Manager would do well to heed the words of this highly successful leader, Gen. H.Norman Schwarzkopf: “I judge character not by how men deal with their superiors, but mostly how they deal with their subordinates, and that, to me, is where you find out what the character of a man is.” Too often men and women get power and forget this crucial leadership lesson, and as we’ve just seen it will lead to their own downfall. Sad that talent and lives get wasted that way.
Since it has now been reported that Rick signed the release and agreed to not sue the city, at least we can all move forward now without a potential lawsuit cloud hanging over our head.