At Wednesday’s special city council meeting change was the topic of the day. A separation agreement had been drawn up, tendered, and completed in regard to the tenure of former city manager Jared Miller.
After the election of a completely new council and mayor, the issue of a pay raise for Miller, approved by the former mayor and council became a sticking point.
But from the Wednesday session, one question was on the minds of many citizens who attended. Why?
Cliff Craig, who followed a young lady back to her hometown from the University of Texas and has called Amarillo his home since 1959 had never addressed a city council before opening his public comment time with his understanding that Miller was let go “without cause”.
Mayor Cole Stanley and Councilperson Les Simpson, earlier in the meeting both added that Miller’s separation was not performance-based.
Mr. Craig then got to the heart of the matter when he said that the preceding city manager left under the same “without cause” reason, guiding Craig to say that as a long-time business owner and employer that moving forward “Good people do not want to be a part of organizations that get rid of people “without cause”. He went on to implore the mayor and council to “think long and hard” about the decision.
Mayor Stanley thanked Miller for his professionalism during this process and his hard work assembling a top-notch team and then asked for a vote which was unanimously in favor of accepting the separation agreement ending the service of City Manager Jared Miller.
The mayor and council then moved to name Deputy City Manager Andrew Freeman as the interim head.
Like most actions, this one comes at a cost to taxpayers. Per the agreement, Miller will leave with a severance package north of $ 600,000.00 dollars.
The agreement per public records