Kirby council fails to renew city manager contract – mySA

KIRBY — Monique Vernon’s final day as Kirby city manager will be Feb. 28, according to her Jan. 13 letter of resignation that was submitted one day after the Kirby City Council voted not to renew her contract for another 12 months.

The Jan. 12 vote came after a 20-minute executive session at the close of a contentious four-hour council meeting. Councilwoman Debra Walczyk made the motion, seconded by Councilman Chris Garza, not to renew Vernon’s contract when it comes due in April.

The vote was 4-3, with Walczyk and Garza joined by Council Members Susan Street and Mike Martin. Mayor Kimberly McGehee Aldrich joined Council Members Janeshia Grider and Sylvia Apodaca in voting against the motion.

“I’m physically sick right now. So, we don’t have a city manager for the next couple of months because we didn’t renew the contract. Basically, she won’t be here anymore,” Grider said, alluding to the need to begin a search for Vernon’s successor.

“Monique, I am so sorry. You have dealt with so much here with this mess from … with most of the people on this council. I do truly apologize,” Grider added.

Vernon was hired in September 2014 after stints in San Antonio, New Braunfels and Del Rio. She served as a senior economic development specialist for the city of San Antonio’s tax increment funding staff for seven months before arriving in Kirby.

She served from 2009 to 2014 as New Braunfels’ downtown development coordinator 2009-2014 and spent the previous 20 months as the assistant city manager in Del Rio.

“This council is sickening,” said Councilwoman Sylvia Apodaca. “Monique, you are a very important asset to this city, and it’s a sad day in Kirby.”

Martin, who voted not to renew her contract, offered parting words.

“Monique, I’m sorry, things just didn’t work out,” Martin said. “I know you’re not happy, you haven’t been happy. I wasn’t going to keep you here in those circumstances. I wish you the best of luck; things could have been a lot different.”

Aldrich hinted other cities would see opportunity in landing Vernon.

“This is a very sad day here in Kirby. I know you were highly valued, and I know you will have more opportunities dropping at your feet tomorrow (Jan. 13) morning,” Aldrich said.

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