By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
NOLANVILLE – The City Council dismissed the assistant secretary Thursday after discussing her performance in an executive session.
After the executive session, the council dismissed Christine Taylor from her position by a vote of 4 to 1. Councilwoman Denise Hungerford voted against the decision.
Taylor served as the city secretary from April 3, 2003, to late September, when she was demoted to assistant secretary by Mayor Carolyn Sterling.
"It was the wrong thing for them to do," Taylor said Thursday, after admitting that previous councils have discussed dismissing her.
In an interview in early October, Councilman Albert Simmons said, "In my opinion, the mayor should have had the former city secretary resign ... for not publishing the proper agenda (concerning the city budget meeting), costing the taxpayers an estimate of $11,000. Instead, the mayor demoted her to assistant city secretary at the same pay rate. In my opinion, the former city secretary will continue costing the taxpayers of the city of Nolanville more money ..."
At that time, Councilman Wayne Hamilton disagreed with Simmons.
Sterling handled the demotion of Taylor properly, Hamilton said, before referring to the Texas Statutes of Local Government Code 22.042.
"The mayor shall inspect the conduct of each subordinate municipal officer and shall cause any negligence, carelessness, or other violation of duty to be prosecuted and punished," the code states.
Thursday night, Hamilton changed his mind, voting against keeping Taylor on the staff.
"I work for the city with the best interest of the city in mind," Hamilton said Thursday. "I don't change my mind lightly."
After being dismissed, Taylor, friends and family members left the meeting in disbelief.
"I am not happy with it to say the least, but I thought it was taken care of by the mayor, and the council just chose to vote to override what she did," Taylor said.
"I am the first one to tell you I made a mistake."
Taylor has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission and is a former Nolanville councilwoman.
Taylor admitted she was upset about the council's decision but that she was keeping her head held high.
"I haven't had a full vacation since I have been here," Taylor said, sitting at a concrete table surrounded by friends and family members outside the J.W. Sims Community Center.
The council also:
Rejected a zoning variance to accept a modular home to be placed on the property located at 409 N. Third St.
Rejected a time clock for keeping track of city employees' hours.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7554