Rodgers promoted to City Manager
By LPR Staff
Amid a chorus of praise from the city council, Vance Rodgers accepted the position as Lockhart”s new City Manager on Tuesday evening.
Rodgers, a Lockhart native, has worked for the City of Lockhart and the City of Austin, in a variety of departments, throughout his career. He was Assistant City Manager for Lockhart in th
e early-70s, and returned to that position during his most recent 11-year tenure with the city.
Initially, city officials had considered hiring a consulting firm to aid in the process of filling the position vacated by Clovia English on Nov. 2. However after discussing the situation with the city attorney, Mayor James “Jimmy” Bertram announced on Tuesday that the council was well within its rights to promote Rodgers, should he be interested in the position.
“We”ve gone the route with the consultant,” said Mayor Pro Tem Frank Estrada. “I feel that [Rodgers] can more than carry out the job, and I would like to see him promoted.”
The sentiment echoed throughout the council, who voted unanimously to enter into contract negotiations with Rodgers as soon as possible.
In other business, the council approved Ordinance 06-40, which sets out the detail of a $3 million bond purchase that the council planned during this year”s budget process. The bond funds will be used for improvements to streets, utilities and the City Park and City Cemetery.
At Large Councilmember Paul Gomez noted during the discussion about the bond issue that he had received input from several citizens that the issue should have been set for election and addressed to the voters for approval. However, according to Finance Director John Washburn, an election could have set back the project nearly a year.
“These are improvements that we need to make,” said District One Councilmember Kenny Roland. “The people that we represent have been asking for this maintenance, and there comes a point when you just have to take care of it.”
District Three Councilmember Lew White also noted that many of the repairs – particularly the planned street projects – are not optional projects, but required improvements that it would be detrimental to the citizens to delay.
According to Washburn, the total cost of the bond purchase will be just over $4.1 million over the course of 15 years. The bonds will be purchased at 4.12 percent interest, and funds will be delivered at the end of November.
The panel also gave the Lockhart Economic Development Corporation approval to fund up to $75,000 to American Pew, LLC, a company that is interested in relocating to Lockhart.
American Pew manufactures furniture for churches and courtrooms, and hopes to develop a 20,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and sales site in the Lockhart Industrial Park. According to Economic Development Director Sandra Mauldin, the LEDC has the funds available and American Pew has already begun hiring staff in preparation for opening the Lockhart site.
In brief news:
A citizen approached the council with petitions from the community asking for several stop lights along Highway 183 through Lockhart.
The Lower Colorado River Authority announced a slight reduction in electrical rates, which the City will pass on to utility customers beginning with the Nov. 20 billing cycle.
The council approved an agreement with Caldwell County to place a promotional sign on Highway 183 near County Road 300, north of Lockhart. The City will be responsible for installation and maintenance of the sign.
They granted a contract to Westhill Paving, Inc. of San Marcos in the amount of $187,187.60 for overlay paving on five Lockhart streets – Campbell, Nixon, Main, Nueces and Ruddy Streets.
Bertram read a proclamation declaring Nov. 6 – 10 as Municipal Court Week, and recognized Municipal Court Coordinator Bonnie Townsend for achieving Level III education as a court administrator.
The panel awarded a contract to Ikon Business Systems for a copier for use at the Public Safety Building at 214 Bufkin Lane.
The council will hold a special meeting on Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. to canvass the results of the Nov. 7, 2006 Special Election.