Embattled College Station city manager Tom Brymer has resigned his position with the city, accepting an almost $200,000 severance package.
The resignation heads off a potential lawsuit. Brymer's attorney, Wayne Rife, had threatened to sue the city and select council members for violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.
Brymer will resign with nine months pay, including vacation, medical and retirement funds tacked on for a total of $177,585. That's almost $50,000 more than he would have been offered if he chose not to resign.
The council delivered that ultimatum after Thursday night's city council meeting. They said if Brymer would not have resigned by 5pm Friday, he would have been fired.
The controversy started two weeks ago when the council fired Brymer by a vote of 4 to 3. Brymer challenged his firing, arguing that the city and four council members of violated the Texas Open Meetings Act. Negotiations of a fair settlement have gone back and forth this week and Rife says everyone is now satisfied with the deal.
Rife said, "His conversation with me this morning was he wanted to leave on a positive note. He was very happy to be able to put this behind him. After having weighed his options and what was in the best interest of his family and his wife and his children he decided that it was much better for him to move on with his life and to accept the offer."
In a personal statement Brymer said, "Serving the citizens of College Station has been both my honor and privilege and I sincerely hope the best for this community. My family and I move on from this chapter in our life with many fond memories."
News 3 attempted to contact all seven council members with regards to Brymer's resignation. Two members from opposite sides of the initial vote two weeks ago spoke on the topic.
"Hindsight is clearer and we might have done some things differently," council member Nancy Berry said. "The outcome would have been the same. I think the citizens and the council and the city are best served by Mr. Brymer's actions Friday.
"The last two elections, incumbants were defeated," Berry continued. "The mood of the voters was for change, and that was what this was about."
Council member Susan Lancaster talked about what she would have done differently, and also explained her apology to Brymer during Thursday's meeting.
"I would have walked out of the meeting," she said in hindsight about the July 14 session where they first discussed terminating Brymer. "I would have called an end to the meeting because it was not a posted agenda item, and frankly, it was not fair to Mr. Brymer."
About her apology during Thursday's meeting, she said, "I was truly sorry that things happened the way they did. I do believe that his rights were violated, and that we could have done a better job for the citizens and for Mr. Brymer."
Lancaster also said she was disappointed other council members didn't apologize to Brymer.
Both Berry and Lancaster -- and indeed, all the council members we've spoken to over the past two weeks -- have expressed a desire to move forward with the business of the city.