Changes continue for Cottonwood Shores leadership

JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF

COTTONWOOD SHORES — Changes continue within Cottonwood Shores as the City Council looks to move forward after the resignation of a council member and fill the vacant city administrator position.

Council member Mary Ann Houser gave her resignation before the June 6 regular meeting.

Mayor Donald Orr acknowledged the resignation at the end of the meeting for a future agenda item.

“She has accepted a job in Denver and will be moving out there,” Orr said during the meeting. “I’m really sorry she is leaving us.”

Houser started the new job for AT&T in Denver and flew back to Austin for the council meeting.

Her husband, former council member Bill Plumley, also is making the move. Houser said she has lived in Cottonwood Shores since 2009 and first became a council member in 2010.

The council is expected to appoint a replacement to Houser’s position at its next meeting June 20.

In dealing with another City Hall departure, the council formally accepted city administrator Janet Taylor-Carusi’s resignation. The council accepted the resignation and voted for Orr to write a demand letter for Carusi for all records, files, equipment and anything belonging to the city to be returned.

In the absence of a city administrator, the council also voted 4-0 to appoint Orr as acting city administrator until the vacancy is staffed. Council member Travis Hockensmith was absent from the meeting.

The council held an item scheduled for executive session in open session regarding a potential interim assistant city administrator.

Orr said the city might need months before a city administrator can be hired and sought the council’s input on seeking an interim employee.

The council asked Orr to limit the amount spent on the potential interim assistant city administrator to a total of $10,000. That amount is the most the city can spend without advertising for the position or seeking a competitive bid, City Secretary Sheila Moore said.

“What I would like to see happen is to bring someone on board who can handle things like what to do on grants,” Orr said. “That will let me concentrate on financial issues and budget issues.”

The council took no action. Orr will seek an interim assistant city administrator under his role as mayor and acting city administrator.

Also during the meeting, the council voted to change City Council meeting times to 6 p.m. Meetings had been starting at 6:30 p.m.

jared@thepicayune.com