Mayor Anna Lopez Machacek, who placed the item on the agenda, said Ordinance 2004-451 was not in compliance with state statutes.
"We do have an ordinance in place right now that does not coincide with state law," Machacek said. "Therefore, my recommendation is that we repeal that ordinance. At a later date, we can come back and make it in a resolution form that would be keeping with the law."
"Could you tell me what Ordinance 2004-451 says?" councilwoman Liz Holsey asked Machacek.
"I don't have a copy of it with me," Machacek said.
Knight & Partners attorney Barbara Boulware-Wells, who was unanimously designated by council to work for the city earlier in the meeting, said the ordinance gave the city administrator duties that conflicted with the mayor's and city secretary's job duties.
"It's in your Code of Ordinances and the ordinance that establishes the position of the city administrator gives the city administrator a laundry list of duties and responsibilities," Boulware-Wells said. "Many of those conflict with the responsibilities and duties of the mayor that are held by statute to be reserved for the mayor, including preparation of the budget and including being the director and over many of the personnel. Those were some of the things of concern."
Boulware-Wells said council can decide if it wanted some of the duties be "recreated into a position of city administrator or do something different. … This would allow you a clean slate and let you figure out what you want to do with the position and then move forward, accordingly."
Thompson wanted to be clear that City Secretary Pam Long would not lose her job with the repeal of the ordinance.
"Pam is the city secretary and she has a statutory position," Boulware-Wells said.
Councilwoman Cheryl Worley made the motion to repeal the position and councilman Joey Thompson seconded the motion. Holsey, Thompson and Worley voted for the repeal. Two city council seats remain vacant after the recent resignations of Buddy Zavesky and Lionel Garcia.
The agenda item also called for consideration and possible action on the mayor and city secretary absorbing the city administrator's duties with compensation.
"I spoke with Pam about us, together, absorbing most of the duties that were on that job description, because they relate to us, anyhow," Machacek said. "Pam kind of mentioned to me that if she's going to absorb more duties, she would like some form of compensation."
Machacek asked Long if she wanted to inform the council how much compensation would seek.
"I think that depends on what those duties are going to be," Long said.
Machacek said another option would be to advertise the city administrator position and council would assign the new city administrator his/her duties. The position became available when Larry Zermeno resigned effective July 31.
"I know Pam can do the job. That's not a question," Holsey said. "But we have not been very good about advertising vacancies. People quit and the jobs are not advertised and then somebody has already taken that position. I think if we are going to start with a clean slate, we need to do it correctly."
"The city operated extremely well with a city secretary in charge up to 2004," Worley said. "I think Pam could a great job as city secretary."
Council voted to table the decision until its Sept. 2 meeting.
"When (Pam) and I spoke, it gives us time until now and the end of the budget year to figure out if we really want this job," Machacek said. "Once we divide all those duties out, is it something we really want to do."
"Let's get through this budget season," Long said.