UPDATED: Missouri City Council members speak out on city manager selection process, hiring of Odis Jones

Missouri City will offer Odis Jones, the former city manager of the city of Hutto, the city manager position. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Missouri City will offer Odis Jones, the former city manager of the city of Hutto, the city manager position. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)

Missouri City will offer Odis Jones, the former city manager of the city of Hutto, the city manager position. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated July 8, 11:24 a.m.

Following Missouri City City Council's early morning July 7 vote to offer Odis Jones the job of city manager, Community Impact Newspaper spoke with three members of City Council who do not agree with the majority of council’s decision.

Council Members Jeffrey Boney, Anthony Maroulis and Floyd Emery all said they have been concerned about the entirety of the city manager selection process, expressing a desire for a broader solicitation and the inclusion of the public and city staff.

“I believed from the onset this was just not the way that we needed to select and choose the person that was going to be running the day-to-day operations in our city as the CEO,” Boney said. “I felt like there had to be more checks and balances, kicking the tires, squeezing the fruit, crossing the t's and dotting the i's,so that we can make sure that we've made the best decision for the taxpayers of Missouri City.”

Boney and Emery voted against the motion to hire Jones, while Maroulis abstained from the vote, an action he said he took to show his opposition to both the candidate and the search process.



“My action to walk away from the dais was to show my strong opposition,” Maroulis said. “A vote 'no' to a candidate was simply not enough for me.”

Boney said while the council was meeting in executive session July 6, Mayor Yolanda Ford announced they would be interviewing the city manager candidates. In a split vote June 24, a majority of council voted to interview the top two finalists, but the date of the interviews was not announced publicly.

“It was an ‘aha’ moment because I had no idea we would be interviewing any city manager candidates [at the July 6 meeting],” Boney said.

Boney said after council interviewed Jones, the mayor said the other candidate withdrew their application, leaving Jones as the sole finalist.

Ford, along with the three other members of City Council who voted to hire Jones as the city manager, did not respond to Community Impact Newspaper’s request for comment as of press time.

Jones previously served as the city manager of Hutto in the Austin area. He agreed to a $412,000 severance package with the city of Hutto in November.

While he was slated to stay on as a consultant to see through a $800 million mixed-use development in the city, council unanimously voted to end his consulting agreement in December, an action Jones said he requested.

After council’s July 7 vote, the city will extend the job offer to Jones. If he accepts, the contract negotiation period will begin.

Emery said during the contract negotiation process, he will push for a 140-day probation period and no severance pay unless Jones stays with the city for a year. Emery said he believes these are typical and appropriate contract stipulations, but he is unsure the majority of council and Jones will agree to them.

Jones has not returned Community Impact Newspaper’s calls as of press time.

Posted July 7, 7:28 a.m.

In a 4-2 vote July 7, Missouri City City Council voted to hire Odis Jones as the city’s next city manager.

Mayor Yolanda Ford and council will extend the job offer to Jones and begin the contract negotiation period if he accepts the position, Ford said.


Jones previously served as the city manager for the city of Hutto, Texas, from 2016-2020 and has experience as the executive director of economic and community development for the city of Cincinnati, according to his application for the position, which Community Impact Newspaper obtained through an open records request.

Prior to the vote, Council convened in closed session for nearly three hours. Then, just after midnight July 7, Council Member Vashaundra Edwards made the motion to appoint Jones as the city’s next city manager.

“We had a plethora of well-qualified candidates, and we actually, in my opinion, saved the city a lot of money by taking the time to interview them and go through their applications, weeding those out who don't qualify,” Edwards said. “I feel as if we did a great job sifting out who was qualified to be our next city manager.”

Edwards, Ford, Mayor Pro Tem Chris Preston and Council Member Cheryl Sterling voted in favor of hiring Jones. Council members Jeffrey Boney and Floyd Emery voted against the motion. Prior to the vote, Council Member Anthony Maroulis announced he will be “stepping away from the dias,” and did not participate in the vote.

Boney, Emery and Maroulis have expressed discontent with the city manager hiring process from the beginning. Missouri City is in need of city manager after voting to remove Anthony Snipes from the role in February.

“I just want to make sure that I stated again that the process by which this city manager search was performed was completely—in my opinion—flawed,” Boney said. “This has been completely concerning for me, and I am completely against it.”

Boney also said he was unaware council would be conducting the final interviews for the city manager position during the July 6 meeting and said one of the council’s top two candidates had decided to remove their name from the process. Council had previously voted to move forward with a final round of interviews for the two finalists for the position, but the interview times had not been publicly announced.

“The process now all of a sudden changed,” Boney said. “All of a sudden, an interview was held without any notification or any awareness that it would be taking place today at X time.”

Ford said she supported hiring Jones for the position because he is a licensed city manager.

“I think we had a very good bunch of candidates who applied,” Ford said. “I know for me, when I picked my top five, I was specifically looking for licensed candidates for the very reason of them coming in with experience already and understanding the city manager role.”

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

By Claire Shoop
Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.


MOST RECENT

The facility in Tomball is being designed by Ziegler Cooper Architects. (Rendering courtesy Tomball Economic Development Corp.)
Karbach Brewing Co.'s Chris Juergen to offer brewery, restaurant in Tomball and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.

According to the report, 380,174 total COVID-19 cases have been reported in children nationwide as of Aug. 6, which accounts for approximately 9.1% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
REPORT: COVID-19 cases in children increase by 90% nationwide in 1 month

As school district officials across the U.S. prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year, 179,990 new COVID-19 cases were reported in children nationwide between July 9 and Aug. 6—an increase of 90%, according to a report compiled by The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

Houston-area home sales jump 23% year over year in July

July also set a record high median price for single-family homes, $271,830, a 8.7% year-over-year increase.

Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Charles Dupre and members of the board of trustees asked special education teachers to return to classrooms during its Aug. 10 meeting. (Screenshot via FBISD Aug. 10 meeting)
Fort Bend ISD faces shortage of special education teachers willing to return in person, designates them vital employees

Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Charles Dupre said the district is reaching out to special education teachers to ask them to return to their classrooms.

The University of Texas will host football games at Darrell K. Royal Veterans Memorial Stadium this fall after an announcement from the Big 12 Conference on Aug. 12 that the fall sports season will continue. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
After Big Ten and PAC-12 cancel, Big 12 announces fall sports season will roll on

The conference football season will begin Sept. 26, and fan capacity in stadiums will be up to each of the 10 member universities, according to the Big 12.

 On Aug. 19, FBISD will open 11 elementary learning centers, which will serve 100 students each. (Courtesy Pexels)
Fort Bend ISD elementary learning centers see long waitlist due to 'overwhelming' number of requests

According to district data, 6,898 elementary students met the district's eligibility requirements for a seat at a learning center. On Aug. 19, FBISD will open 11 elementary learning centers, which will serve 100 students each.

After being temporarily closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mattison Avenue Salon Suites & Spa has leased half of its 50 private suites to independent beauty professionals. (Courtesy Mattison Avenue)
Mattison Avenue Salon Suites & Spa opens first Houston-area location

After being temporarily closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the upscale salon has leased half of its 50 private suites to independent beauty professionals.

JD Sports will open a new store at The Woodlands Mall this August. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Businesses opening or coming soon in The Woodlands and more Houston-area news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Since the first coronavirus case in Fort Bend County was reported in early March, a total of 10,018 county residents have tested positive for the virus. (Community Impact staff)
Fort Bend County surpasses 10,000 coronavirus cases as backlog results in 1,143 cases Aug. 7-10

During the week of Aug. 3-10, FBCHHS reported a total of 2,827 new coronavirus cases, which account for 28% of the county’s total cases.

Attendees sample a wide variety of global wines and cuisine during Wine & Food Week. (Courtesy Food & Vine Time Productions)
Wine & Food Week returns to The Woodlands and more news from the Houston area

Read business and community news from the Houston area.

The number of deaths reported has been declining for the past three week, according to the Texas Medical Center. (Community Impact staff)
Texas Medical Center: COVID-19 hospitalizations down 10% since Aug. 3

The number of deaths reported has been declining for the past three week, according to the Texas Medical Center.

Fort Bend County has a total of 8,878 coronavirus cases as of Aug. 6. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
With change in reporting system, Fort Bend County coronavirus cases count grows by 1,687 in 4 days

A change in the coronavirus case tracking system and an influx of data from a local hospital and lab resulted in higher-than-before numbers of newly reported cases this week.