The Rockport City Council, after meeting for about 2-1/2 hours in executive session Tuesday, Nov 3, accepted City Manager Kevin Carruth’s resignation with a 4-1 vote.

His resignation is effective Jan. 7, 2022.

The motion to accept his resignation, made by Councilwoman Katy Jackson, included authorizing the City attorney to work with Carruth and City staff to finalize the agreement.

That agreement will be addressed at the Council’s Nov. 9 meeting.

Councilwoman Andrea Hattman seconded the motion. Jackson, Hattman, and Council members J.D. Villa and Brad Brundrett voted to accept Carruth’s resignation. Mayor Pat Rios cast the lone dissenting vote.

“We appreciate Kevin’s previous work with the City,” said Rios. “He was instrumental in bringing us back after Hurricane Harvey.

“I wish him well in his next endeavor.”

Prior to going into executive session, Vicki Pitluk and Kristie Rutledge addressed the council during the “citizens to be heard” portion of the agenda.

Pitluk, who has worked for the City as a marketing and communications consultant for 12 years, questioned whether there was a campaign behind closed doors, possibly as a walking quorum in violation of the Open Meetings Act, seeking Carruth’s resignation.

“If there was a problem with the city manager, it should have been addressed privately as part of the evaluation last week with specifics, guidelines for improvement, and mutually agreed upon deadlines,” said Pitluk. “I’m not a human resources expert, but this is what’s done in the real world, and is the City’s process when dealing with its own employee issues.

“Kevin understands the importance of communicating with our constituency – like utilizing Facebook … and has set up programs to produce greater transparency of City finances.

“I don’t think anyone, except his wife, the mayor, and some City staffers know the extent of what he does and the time involved, and the massive increase in work since Hurricane Harvey.

“(He) has steered the City through difficult times and the recovery process. I’m not sure many could have handled the challenges, and kept our bottom line and reputation intact.”

Pitluk added, “Your actions tonight may cause irreparable harm to the City when it comes to hiring, retaining employees, and the future of our community.

“I’m asking you to do the right thing … when it comes to evaluating Kevin and his work on behalf of the City.”

Rutledge thanked the council for what it was doing - thoughtful evaluation of Carruth.

“I only date back to the City petition (about the then proposed new City Hall in downtown Rockport),” she said. “It has been really rough.”

She noted those individuals with views similar to her use Facebook as a primary resource.

“We have been blocked out of the process,” said Rutledge.

“I want you to understand whatever happens tonight is just the first step.

“We’ve all worked hard (since) Harvey, and we all deserve the opportunity to be heard.”

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