Argyle parts ways with town manager

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Argyle Town Manager Kristi Gilbert

The Argyle Town Council came to a mutual decision to part ways with Kristi Gilbert, the town manager, at its special council meeting on Tuesday night.

After a lengthy executive session, the council voted 3-1 to place Gilbert on paid administrative leave and authorize the town attorney to negotiate a separation agreement with Gilbert. Council member Marla Hawkesworth was the lone dissenter.

No explanation was given for the decision during the meeting. On Wednesday, Gilbert and Mayor Don Moser both declined to comment on the specifics of what happened because the issue was protected by executive session, but they did both say that it was a mutual decision between Gilbert and council.

Gilbert had worked for the town since 2014, when she became the town secretary and human resources administrator. In May 2018, she was named the acting town manager because the town manager at the time, Matt Jones, resigned after being suspended by the town council. No reason was given for that decision, either. Gilbert was then appointed to be the permanent town manager in September 2018.

This year has been a tumultuous time for the town because of discord among council members, which is still going strong. Seemingly simple issues, like naming the town park or appointing a council member, become contentious. The mayor and council have filed many official complaints against each other, only to eventually withdraw them without making them public. Mayor Don Moser and Mayor Pro Tem Cyndi Hermann requested an Attorney General investigation into Jon Donahue, who chose to resign from council because of it. Two other council members have resigned this year, and Councilman Ron Schmidt is suing the town, the former town attorney, Donahue and Hawkesworth in retaliation for being sanctioned unanimously by the council earlier this year. Schmidt also threatened Gilbert’s job this summer, according to a letter from Gilbert’s lawyers.

On top of all that, the town recently had to hire a new town attorney — because the former one resigned because of Schmidt’s lawsuit — and it is also currently trying to hire a new police chief.

Now it has a vacancy at town manager, too.

Moser said the town is searching for an interim town manager, and until then “each department head is handling their business” and Town Secretary Erika McComis is his point of contact with town staff.

“Hopefully nothing large will come up until we can appoint an interim town manager and do a search (for a permanent one),” Moser said. “As far as the council is concerned, we’re still committed to our direction of serving the citizens with as much transparency as the law will allow.”

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About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    L. Bates

    Kristi is the third town manager since Moser and Schmidt were elected. At least one other was forced out under similar circumstances. The town is also working on the third police chief since their election. None of this has anything to do with housing density or whether or not the town needs commercial development. Wake up, Argyle. Do you really believe that Moser, Schmidt and their band of followers are the best people to run town hall administration and the police department? They held a rushed special meeting and put Kristi on terminal leave days before she would have made the final decision on who the new police chief will be. That isn’t a coincidence.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Alan Dawes

    Another chapter in As The World Turns, also known as Argyle town government. Who in the world would want to work in this toxic stew at this point, whether paid or unpaid? My gosh, what an embarrassment.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Jeannie Young

    Kristi will be missed. She was the glue for Argyle. With the corruption going on in our town between the mayor, Schmidt and Hermann I think the attorney general should be called in to investigate. We have lost 2 council men and attorney and now a city manager in less than 2 months. This is pure evil people and if we don’t evict them or recall or vote them out we will no longer have a town. Wake up Argyle

    Reply

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