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The city of College Station has fired City Manager Tom Brymer. By a vote of 4-3, council members decided to terminate Brymer's contract on Friday.
The issue was brought up in executive session Thursday night, but votes must be made in open session. At around 1 AM Friday, an open session began in order to make that vote. The motion was made by Ron Gay and supported by Nancy Berry, Chris Scotti and John Happ.
Voting in support of Brymer were Mayor Ron Silvia, Susan Lancaster and Ben White.
Gay said, "I don't think there's anything specifically, an event that precipitated what council action we took last night. I think it's over a long period of time. We were looking at various leadership qualities, various ways the city was moving, and we decided we needed new leadership at the top of the city."
But White believe the action was taken too soon. "We had a lot of hearsay," he said about the debate. "There were three of us (White, Gay and Scotti) that had just been on the council. That was our fourth meeting, two months after we've been sworn in. Four meetings. I did not feel like that was enough time to say, 'Yes, Tom had lost my confidence,' or, 'No, Tom had not.'"
Both Gay and White said the debate was lively, but civil.
"I think the council, even though they disagreed, showed some real maturity, and we agreed that we would disagree," White said.
"Councilmembers on both sides of the issue, while respectful of each others opinion, were very serious in our discussion of it," said Gay.
Brymer was named City Manager in October 1999. He first joined the city in 1989. Officials say he will receive a severance package according to terms of his contract.
In the interim, Steve Beachy, the city's director of parks and recreation, is acting as city manager. Glenn Brown, the assistant city manager, is currently out of the state. When he returns, he will assume the role while the council begins its search for a new city manager.
Brymer released the following statement Friday:
The past 16 years in College Station have been a blessing to me in many ways, through many people. It was a wonderful place to raise our family, who embraced the Aggie way of life. All of our children chose TAMU.
We have benefited personally from many deep relationships with wonderful people who have walked us through tragedy and celebrated our joys with us. Our lives are enriched forever.
As an organization and as individuals, the City of College Station during my tenure has been recognized with many professional awards and honors, both state and nationally recognized. My hopes for the City have always included creative excellence as we pursued progressive best practices to benefit our citizens.
Keeping the City’s best interests always foremost, I have recruited excellent new leaders in several departments including development services, police, and fire. They will serve the city well as they join a management team with other highly qualified individuals.
The citizens of College Station hold the key to the future and I encourage everyone to volunteer both their time and talents to continue making it an ever better place to live.