Edinburg to mull city manager post

EDINBURG — Council members are set to meet at noon today to discuss potential changes to the city manager position.

The special-called meeting comes a week after council member Gilbert Enriquez accused the mayor and his majority faction of scheduling meetings at inconvenient times in order to avoid public scrutiny — a claim Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina decried.

It’s unclear what type of action the council may take for the single item on Friday’s agenda, which indicates members will discuss and possibly take action on the “duties, responsibilities, remuneration, and possible action on employment” of the city manager after meeting behind closed doors.

Edinburg City Manager Juan Guerra told staff in early April he was considering leaving his post to take a position with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. And though he initially denied his announcement to The Monitor, city spokeswoman Cary Zayas later confirmed Guerra had mentioned a possible move, but indicated nothing was set in stone.

Instead, Guerra stayed on board for at least a few more months to guide the city through its nomination for an All-America City award.

Last week, city officials and dozens of supporters flew to Denver to compete for the award. The 20 U.S. cities that were nominated, which also included the city of Mission, were required to make an in-person presentation to help the organization whittle down the nominees to 10 winners.

Edinburg was not selected as one of them; Mission was.

If Guerra does depart, he will be the third to leave the city’s top post in about a year’s time.  

Former city manager Richard Hinojosa left abruptly in June 2018. A few days later, the city announced Pilar Rodriguez would take over. Rodriguez began working for Edinburg July 2, 2018, but resigned less than three months later, opening the post for Guerra, who took over in mid-October 2018.

Guerra, who left his post as Pharr city manager to take the reigns in Edinburg, reportedly negotiated the same salary he earned while in Pharr, $225,000 a year. His successor in Pharr, Alex Meade, who left his post as executive director of the Mission Economic Development Corporation to run Pharr, negotiated an annual salary of $250,000 annually, plus a $7,200 yearly car allowance. Pharr initially tried to keep Meade’s pay a secret, but later released the information.