By TONY VINDELL
Special to the NEWS
San Benito City Manager Manuel De La Rosa has been terminated “without cause” by the city commission.
The action followed a lengthy executive session by the city commission during the Tuesday, June 6 meeting.
The embattled chief administrator has been running the city of more than 24,000 people since 2015.
De La Rosa’s position was placed on the agenda a couple of times this year but no action was taken until the commission evaluated his effort this time around.
The agenda item from the meeting read, “pursuant to Texas Government Code §551.074 to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee, the City Manager.”
De La Rosa and the city reached an amicable agreement and he will remain on the job for up to the next 60 days, commented city officials.
The commission voted 4-1 to terminate De La Rosa with Commissioner Carol Lynn Sanchez casting the lone “nay” vote.
Sanchez said she believed the city was moving in the right direction under De La Rosa’s administration. Now, she added, it’s regressing and everything is going to stall.
She said De La Rosa has been working to better the city’s water infrastructure, its road systems and was instrumental in bringing new businesses to town.
Sanchez said, “Ultimately it was the best decision for the city as I don’t see the new council working for the city’s betterment.”
She added in a social media post that, “The city manager was let go with an entire contract payout and that a prospective candidate is waiting to come in.”
“Man, if citizens don’t see how backwards we’re going here, I don’t know what will wake you up,” she included in her post.
But Tom Goodman, a newly elected commissioner, said he sees nothing but a new beginning for the city.
“Mr. De La Rosa’s managing methods are not consistent with the desires of the city council,” he said. “I would now like to see us moving forward.”
He said San Benito is, “open for business” and is now going on the right pathway.
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