Gardner withdraws as finalist for Palestine city manager
Fri, 2016-10-21 05:00 News Staff
By LYNETTE SOWELL
As of last Friday evening, Copperas Cove city manager Andrea Gardner withdrew her name for consideration as one of three finalists for the city manager of Palestine, Texas, confirmed Kevin Keller, public information officer for the City of Copperas Cove.
The discussion of Gardner’s current contract with City of Copperas Cove has been on the agenda for the past two city council meetings, most recently as Tuesday night.
Place 2 councilman James Pierce Jr. had requested that Gardner’s contract be discussed by the council, with the possibility of adding an ending date to the most recent contract, which is dated 2008.
At Tuesday’s meeting as well as at last Thursday’s meeting, the council entered into an executive session to discuss Gardner’s contract.
During the first part of Tuesday’s executive session, the council met session without Gardner but included department heads to include interim police chief Eddie Wilson, fire chief Michael Neujahr, finance director Velia Key, budget director Ryan Haverlah, chief building official Mike Morton, as well as information systems director Greg Mitchell. Following that discussion, the department heads left the session, with Gardner herself then entering into the executive session.
The council emerged and the open meeting then resumed, with place 6 councilman George Duncan making a motion to move the agenda item regarding Gardner’s contract to the Nov. 1 city council meeting, with the motion seconded by place 7 councilman Matthew Russell.
Duncan said the reason to move that agenda item to a future meeting was so Gardner’s original 2007 employment contract with the city along with the 2008 amended contract be merged into one document for the discussion at the Nov. 1 meeting.
The council then took a roll call vote on that motion. A number of the council members spoke of their support for Gardner at the helm of the city’s management and overseeing its operations.
“Citizens out there, you couldn’t ask for a better city manager,” said place 1 councilman David Morris.
James Pierce Jr. voiced his support, adding that it’s been a pleasure to work with Gardner and he looks forward to the next few years.
Yancey said he also supports waiting until Nov. 1 to put the two agreements together.
“I think we have a lot of things that are very positive for Copperas Cove,” he said. “I think to do anything to upset that apple cart is detrimental to the best interests of Copperas Cove. I support Andrea staying as city manager and we need to move forward.”
After the meeting adjourned, Duncan said the proposed ending date to be added to Gardner’s contract would be Jan. 31, 2022.
Pierce, who originally called for adding a date to the contract, said it would benefit both the city and Gardner to have a limit on that contract.