City Administrator West resigns

Ken West's last day as Glen Rose city administrator will be July 12. Photo courtesy of City of Glen Rose

Ken West’s last day as Glen Rose city administrator will be July 12.

Photo courtesy of City of Glen Rose

By Kathryn Jones

Editor

Glen Rose City Administrator Ken West resigned Monday after 15 months on the job.

Reached at his Town Hall office, West said he had several reasons for leaving, including continued questioning of his handling of the job by some members of the Glen Rose City Council and controversy over his salary.

His last day with the city will be July 12.

West also said he has taken a job with the City of Southlake in the police department. He will be one of eight school resource officers to work on the campuses of the Southlake School District providing security and education. His new job will start on July 22.

“I think this city needs a city administrator,” West said. “Some people on the city council haven’t come around to that yet. When you get one in here you have to allow that person to do their job.”

West was called before a special executive session of the council several weeks ago, on June 13. Executive sessions are closed, but a reliable source told the Current that Councilman Chris Bryant questioned West at length about aspects of his job performance. The council emerged from the session and voted to address the issues raised through the city’s Personnel Policy Manual.

After the May 11 election, West said it also became apparent that the votes were there on the council to end his contract.

“I wanted to leave on my own terms,” he said.

Asked what he will miss the most about his time in Glen Rose, West said the city employees.

“There are great employees here that make the city function,” West said.

“What I’ll miss the least is the politics and having to defend myself and my salary,” he added.

West’s $90,000 salary has been an issue for council members Johnny Martin and Chris Bryant, while those who supported his hiring said the city had to pay a competitive salary to attract a good administrator.

West said he tendered his resignation to Mayor Dennis Moore and has spoken with council members Martin and Sandra Ramsay. The Current will update this story with reaction from the mayor and council members.

He said his understanding is that the mayor wants to hire another administrator.

West is the third city administrative employee to resign in recent weeks. Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Direct Billy Huckaby and City Events Planner Tara Janszen also have resigned.

West said he will spend the time he has left as city administrator working on the next fiscal year’s budget.

Hiring a city administrator was one of the major recommendations in the city’s Comprehensive Plan, a blueprint for future growth, approved by the Glen Rose City Council in the past. But the hiring proved controversial and split several different city councils, who discussed the pros and cons of hiring a city administrator for several years.

The council in March 2012 voted to hire West, who at that time was the assistant city manager for the City of Lake Worth in northwest Tarrant County. The vote was 4-1 to make the hire after meeting in executive special session, with Martin voting against the hiring because he said it was going to cost too much money.

When West started his job in April 2012, he said the prospect of helping the city move to “the next level” appealed to him.

Before the Lake Worth position, West retired from the Hurst Police Department after 26 years as the patrol commander before becoming police chief of the City of Hudson Oaks west of Fort Worth.

West has a bachelors degree in business administration from LeTourneau University and a masters degree in public administration from Columbia Southern University.

West was born in St. Louis, Mo., then went into the military service and in 1974 moved to Texas, where he and wife raised three sons, now grown. The Wests also have two young grandchildren.

The city council waived the requirement that West reside in Glen Rose because he and his wife had a house in North Richland Hills that was difficult to sell during a time when the real estate market is weak.

 

 

 

4 Responses to City Administrator West resigns

  1. Melissia Regis Reply

    July 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    I have to agree that Karen Richardson would make a great city administrator. She loves Glen Rose and has continued to fight to improve the city in many ways. She has the drive to do this and she knows the town.

    • Kathryn Reply

      July 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Sorry to just be posting this today, Melissa. We were hosting friends from out of town last week and I’ve been clearing out spam all day. I apologize for the delay!
      Best,
      Kathryn Jones

  2. Suzanne Gentling Reply

    July 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Karen Richardson would be my choice for the next city administrator, if she would take the job.

    • Kathryn Reply

      July 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      She knows how the city works, that’s for sure! She might need to keep a pair of pruning shears nearby in case things get unruly. Thanks, Suzanne.

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