AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – A special meeting was held on Monday to discuss and consider the employment agreement with city manager Jared Miller, the Amarillo City Council approved a new contract for city manager Jared Miller.
According to Mayor Ginger Nelson, Miller came to the council last week about updating his contract. She added it’s been six years since that contract has been updated and Miller brought that up during his annual evaluation which the city council had scheduled and was working on last week during their regularly scheduled business meeting.
“The current city manager’s contract is six years old and it was entered into a few months before the 2017 council came on the dais so it’s not unusual for the council that has worked with the city manager to make the contract and that allows the new council, who yet doesn’t have any experience to get that experience, get that understanding before there is a need to touch the contract again,” said Mayor Nelson.
Many who attended the city council meeting on Monday asked the council to pause contract negotiations altogether as it is a month before election day.
“I can only imagine trying to sell my business and getting the deal done. And then giving all my guys a big raise and an extended contract, and then telling them the new owner to deal with it seems corrupt and crooked from where I stand. Taxpayers don’t like it,” said Ronnie Kenyon, who spoke during public comment.
Mayor Nelson said the timing of evaluation and contract negations is due to when Miller was hired.
According to the City of Amarillo, Miller was hired as City Manager by Amarillo City Council in January 2017.
“This city manager, Jared Miller, was hired in February, so to do an annual evaluation on him, is scheduled to be in February of every year. This year we hit a couple of meetings, where council members couldn’t be present and it’s just not productive to do an evaluation of the city manager if all five of us aren’t there,” said Mayor Nelson.
The city council approved Miller’s contract four to one with Councilmember Place One Cole Stanley rejecting the contract.
“For our future council, I don’t feel this is right. I don’t think it goes to build credibility for our office here what we are trying to do. I don’t think it garners further trust,” said Stanley.
Mayor Nelson added that the council’s time runs through when the next council is sworn in and until then they will do what’s best for the citizens of Amarillo.
“We are elected to represent 200,000 people that live in this city and until our term ends, we will continue to make the best decisions for those residents and for the future of our city,” said Mayor Nelson.
Terms that were updated in Miller’s contract include a salary change from $294,000 to $313,000, based on the CPI for 2022 at 6.57%, an increase in vacation time from 16 days to 25 days to match what a city employee with more than 20 years of experience gets, and other adjustments in other allowances, such as auto, cell phone, and sick days.
There is no term on the contract, the city manager will still be hired at the will of the city council. The contract can be amended, at any time, with the agreement of the city council and city manager.
The contract can be terminated, at any time, without cause, but four city council members need to agree and the contract can be terminated at any time, with cause, with three city council members agreeing.
Mayor Nelson added that the city manager’s existing contract if he is terminated, without cause, has a severance package that the 2015 city council put in.
Update (4:28 p.m.)
After a lengthy executive session, the Amarillo City Council approved a new employment agreement with Jared Miller, the city of Amarillo’s city manager. The decision was a 4-1 vote, with Councilmember Cole Stanley being the only dissenting vote.
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The city of Amarillo’s City Council will host a special meeting Monday afternoon centering an employment agreement with Jared Miller, the city of Amarillo’s city manager.
According to the agenda for the meeting, scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday in the council chamber of City Hall, located at 601 S. Buchanan St., the council is expected to discuss and consider an employment agreement with the city manager.
This public, non-consent, item will come after an executive session portion of the meeting, where the council is expected to discuss Miller’s “performance evaluation” and the employment agreement.
This is a developing story. MyHighPlains.com will update this article as new information becomes available.
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