At a regular meeting Aug. 11, the Conroe City Council terminated the city’s contract with City Administrator Paul Virgadamo Jr. and accepted the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Steve Williams in a split vote, 3-2.
"In May, at our city administrator performance review, I was not privy to all the information kept from me in order to make informed city council decisions," Council Member Marsha Porter said in an Aug. 13 statement, courtesy of Taylorized PR, citing conversations about the city charter, water usage and a complaint filed against a former City Council member. "The lack of information was becoming routine. I have addressed these problems with the city administrator on numerous occasions with these significant issues. With the continued lack of response, I just felt like the time had come when a change needed to be made."
The vote followed discussion in open and closed sessions Aug. 10 and nearly two hours of a closed executive session ahead of the Aug. 11 meeting.
As previously reported, items asking council members to consider terminating the contracts with the two city employees were added to the Aug. 10-11 agenda by council members Porter and Howard Wood.
"Ultimately [I] supported the motion because of major ongoing transparency concerns and a growing unhealthy culture in which Paul was leading amongst staff," Council Member Harry Hardman said in an Aug. 13 statement, courtesy of Taylorized PR.
According to previous reporting, Virgadamo said he has worked for the city for more than 25 years, and WIlliams served as CFO for 17 years, according to his Linkedin profile.
Council members Hardman, Wood and Porter were in favor, and Yancey and Maddux voted against terminating Virgadamo’s contract. Mayor Jody Czajkoski stated during open comment he was against the termination.
The council voted to appoint an interim CFO; however, there was no vote to appoint an interim city administrator Aug. 11.
"It is classic hypocrisy to label what someone else does as 'a lack of transparency' when my termination was anything but transparent," Virgadamo said in an emailed statement. "Every claim by these three council members is unfounded, and not one of the claims constitutes grounds for immediate termination of a 25-year employee without notice."