There has been a behind the scenes saga playing out at Irving City Hall for several months now concerning who will replace former Irving City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.
Gonzalez left on Oct. 1, 2013 and was replaced on an interim basis by former and long-time City Manager, Steve McCullough. From 1993 until he retired in 2005, McCullough served as Irving City Manger, then Gonzalez assumed the position.
Now, the Irving City Council has contracted with McCullough to serve as Interim City Manager until April 1, 2014. The Irving City Council also hired a search firm that submitted a list of 30 applicants for consideration for the permanent City Manager position.
Here is where the saga gets sticky. There is a segment of the Irving City Council, led by Councilman Joe Putnam, who wants to suspend the idea of a search at this time and to extend a contract to McCullough to serve until April 2016.
But, City of Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne set up interviews on Saturday, Jan. 4 with the top five city manager applicants from the search committee and narrowed the list down. Councilwoman Rose Cannady and Councilman Allan Meagher were not in attendance. A second round of interviews of potential candidates are being planned.
Mayor Van Duyne led the process of moving forward with the search committee process by meeting individually with City Council members, where she voiced her opinion that Steve McCullough’s interim contract should not be extended.
Irving City Councilman Dennis Webb reportedly told the Mayor he is considering extending McCullough’s interim contract largely because there is a distinct distrust and concern in the community of the Mayor possibly manipulating a “new” City Manager and trying to derail the Irving Entertainment Center (IEC) project.
Councilman Webb commented that his primary concern is, “that the Mayor still does not agree with some aspects of the IEC project and that the Mayor could possibly take advantage of a ‘new’ City Manger and use this to manipulate, slow down and possibly even derail the IEC project.”
So, the search process continues, the item of the City Council Work Session on Jan. 8, 2014, to extend the contract of the interim City Manager, Steve McCullough may possibly be postponed. It looks like the majority of the Irving City Council wants to move on with a “new” City Manager, and believe all city council members should respect the search process.