Bridge City council to allow city manager to handle personnel issues

Published 12:04 am Friday, August 19, 2022

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BRIDGE CITY — Councilmembers and city officials met for several hours in executive session recently to discuss the city secretary position and the role and duty of the city manager.

After the closed session, councilmembers told City Manager Brent Walker to handle all personnel issues.

Walker said the city charter is vague on the job duties of the city secretary and who oversees the position.

“A personnel issue came up and there was no real job description or clear language as to who had what authority,” Walker said. “The action was a written warning to be delivered by the city manager. In the future, the plan is to review making changes to better define roles and responsibilities.”

The city secretary position, which is held by Jeanie McDowell, is appointed by the city council.

According to Bridge City’s website, the city secretary’s roles are as follows:

  • Acting as Records Management Officer for the City, processing Public Information Requests and overseeing compliance with all provisions and State statutes governing records management
  • Coordinating all city elections and overseeing early voting
  • Developing city council agenda packets and posting of agendas
  • Insuring ordinances are published when necessary and codified in a timely manner
  • Issuing initial alcoholic beverage permits
  • Maintaining all official documents of the city and when necessary filing official documents at the county courthouse
  • Performing other duties as the city council shall assign
  • Recording and preparing the minutes of the proceedings of such meetings
  • Responsible for keeping abreast of current laws relating to the Open Meetings Act, Public Information Act, election code and any other laws applicable to municipal law
  • Serving as “Ex-Officio” Clerk of the municipal court by supervising municipal court administration

According to the city’s charter, Article IV, Section 4.01, item J says one of the roles of the city manager is to “supervise and coordinate the work of the administrative officers and departments of the city, except those of the municipal judge, city attorney and the city secretary; and to act as coordinator between these officers and the other administrative officers of the city.”

The charter does not say to whom the city secretary should report, other than the city council.

Walker said the council and administration is working to set up future wording in the charter to “define the authority of the administration to the city manager.”

— Written by Chris Moore