Amarillo City Council set to part ways with City Manager Jared Miller


The Amarillo City Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, August 23 at 3 pm to consider approving a separation agreement with current City Manager Jared Miller. Councilmembers will also discuss the process for naming an interim City Manager.


The agenda for the meeting:

1. Call to Order

2. Public Comment The public will be permitted to offer public comment on agenda items and items related to City business. Citizens interested in commenting may sign up online at https://www.amarillo.gov/departments/city-manager/city-secretary/public-address-registration-form, by calling the City Secretary’s office at (806) 378-3014, or in person in Room 303 of City Hall, 601 S. Buchanan. Citizens should signup at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled meeting start time.

3. Agenda Item The City Council may convene in Executive Session to receive reports onor discuss any of the following pending projects or matters:

3.A. DISCUSS AND CONSIDER SEPARATION AGREEMENT WITH CITY MANAGER

This item is to discuss and consider approval of a separation agreement between the City of Amarillo, Texas and City Manager Jared Miller and authorization of the Mayor to sign such agreement.

3.B. DISCUSS APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM CITY MANAGER

This item is to discuss the process of appointing an interim city manager.

4. Adjourn

During public comments of the past Tuesday's Amarillo City Council regular meeting, former councilmembers Dr. Eddy Sauer and Howard Smith spoke in favor of retaining Miller as the City Manager. 

Earlier this year, the previous city council voted 4-1 to amend Miller's contract before the May 2023 election. 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.

Miller's contract if he is terminated, without cause, has a severance package that the 2015 city council put in.

Former Amarillo Mayor, Ginger Nelson, said at the time that Miller's contract needed to be updated the current leadership. Nelson argued that passing off the negotiations with Miller over his contract to the next Council not be in the city's best interests.

“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 in working with the City Manager, to get that experience, to get that understanding before there is a need to touch the contract again,” Nelson said. “It is really important that the contract negotiations and the contract terms be based on the City Manager's performance and not on politics.”

Current Amarillo Mayor, Cole Stanley, who held the Place 1 seat on the City Council before the May 2023 election, was the lone vote against updating Miller’s contract. Stanley maintained any decision on Miller's contract should be made by the newly elected City Council.

“You have an outgoing City Council, and only one of us has a chance to come back with the potential to have five new councilmembers. That City Manager position is a performance position, and he works at the Council's will,” Stanley said at the time. “It should be the future Council that has the opportunity to renegotiate a contract if he wants a new contract.”

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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