Fifty people from all over the country have applied to run for the next mayor of Odessa, and the Odessa City Council will interview the top four candidates during the week of June 26.
City Council dismissed Mayor Michael Marrero and City Attorney Natasha Brooks 5-2 without explanation on Dec. 13, and within hours Mayor Javier Hoeven announced T2 Professional Consulting to help find Marrero’s replacement. signed a contract with
On Tuesday, T2’s Micah Lunt said the city council’s efforts to find new city officials include helping set standards, creating brochures, advertising positions, and evaluating candidates’ written and verbal responses to questionnaires. summarizes what has been done. And in a video she recorded.
Mr. Lunt also reviewed other services provided by the company, including assessing the strengths and weaknesses of city employees, addressing inefficient and ineffective processes, assisting in reviewing personnel policies, and providing training to directors and assistant directors. service was also explained.
Mr Lunt told Congress that T2 had 50 applications, after which Congress entered an executive meeting that lasted just over an hour to discuss the top candidates.
After the council reconvened, it unanimously voted to continue the contract with T2 through August 13 at a total cost of $225,000, or $113,000 less than the original contract amount. He also voted in favor of setting aside the week of June 26 for candidate interviews, without mentioning the number of candidate interviews.
In a post-meeting press conference, Mayor Javier Hoeven responded to a question from the Odessa American newspaper on whether T2 would apply a “trimetrics” rating to the 50 candidates to narrow down the list. “Exactly,” he replied.
According to T2, the assessment examines a candidate’s behavioral style, personal motivations/drives, insight, and abilities.
Joben then said the 50 applicants had already been cut.
When asked by an OA reporter what the list was reduced to, Joben replied: Next problem. “
City Councilman Steve Thompson said at a separate press conference that the number of candidates would be reduced to four and would be evaluated by Trimetrics prior to interviews.
T2 will conduct TriMetrix assessments during the week of June 6th to June 11th, conduct “job fit” interviews from June 13th to 19th, and nominate finalists on June 20th. said Mr. They will also complete a background check.
In March, the city council agreed that new city officials “must have a degree awarded by an accredited higher education institution at the bachelor’s degree level or higher in public administration, business administration, business administration, or a related field.” . Her 3+ years of professional experience as City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Department Head (or similar private sector related leadership role) in Odessa City and similar organizations. “
Both Thompson and Joben expressed delight at the overall nominee numbers.
“My concern is, first of all, because we have a new calendar year, the fiscal year, which starts on October 1st. We are in the middle of a budget process and we have to do the following:” This new city administration You have to get your staff together, so get this person here as soon as possible, and still do it carefully. I need a finance person. We need to have deputy city administrators and I hope they get promoted as much as possible, but we know we’ve lost the talent we need to replace,” Thompson said. .
Thompson said he doesn’t know how T2 narrowed down the candidates and has yet to see the resumes of the rest of the candidates.
“I don’t want to see their resumes yet.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Thompson and City Councilman Chris Honey told Mr. Lunt that none of the council members had received a series of emails that Mr. Lunt allegedly sent detailing the progress of T2. said no.
“We have no explanation as to why that didn’t happen,” Lunt said before providing a document outlining the emails.
When Councilman Dennis Swaner asked if the process could be sped up, Mr. Lunt said no.
“As you can see from the email documents I provided just now and a few weeks ago, we have been seeking confirmation and updates regarding this process over several weeks and have not received a response.” said Rant.
Joben’s signing of the T2 contract is somewhat controversial, in part because T2 is responsible for all communications. [email protected]
Additionally, Thompson and then City assistant manager Aaron Smith said Joben’s signing of the contract was illegal.
Under Article 1 bis of the City Charter, “All ordinances, resolutions, and contractual documents shall be reviewed for form and legality by the City Attorney or an authorized representative of the City Attorney prior to submission to the City Council. It must be reviewed” and reviewed for administration by the City Manager or an authorized agent of the City Manager. “
In addition, under Section 30 of the City Charter, City Council approval of contracts must be made under certain circumstances. One of them is a “contract that requires the appropriation of funds”.
Mr. Bernal did not sign the contract, and on Dec. 16, two days after T2 received its $50,000 down payment, then interim city attorney Dan Jones signed the contract.
Mr. Jones was then appointed city attorney.
The mayor has reiterated that the T2 contract is unlimited, priced up to $338,000 and can be terminated with 30 days’ notice. However, the contract itself does not set limits on the contract period or contract amount. Instead, it states, “The City shall pay the professional a fixed monthly fee of $24,000 and an annual base professional fee of $288,000 for the services actually performed.” The fee that he must pay upon entering into this contract will be $50,000. “
Smith, who was fired on March 1, actually claimed to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the Texas Rangers and the Ector County District Attorney’s Office that he was fired for asking Joben and the city council to investigate the T2 contract. has filed a whistleblowing lawsuit against the city. Brooks and Marrero fired. He believes he violated the public assembly law when he fired the two on December 13, as they were barred from being open to the public until after the vote.
In fact, the council held another meeting on January 9, at which council members again voted to remove the two after allowing the public to speak.