Weatherford Democrat

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February 1, 2013

Politics emerge in Annetta city secretary’s resignation

By CHRISTIN COYNE

Actions by current Annetta council members created a threatening work environment and were one of the factors leading to her recent resignation, outgoing Annetta City Secretary Daina Lawler reported to the city’s mayor last month.

According to information released by the city this week in response to an open records request, Lawler attributed her decision primarily to personal family obligations but also said she had issues with her work environment.

As the city attempts to fill the position, the city’s mayor, Bruce Pinckard, said he is concerned about the issues raised by Lawler concerning the environment at city hall, though the city’s mayor pro-tem, Larry Wood, does not share those concerns.

Lawler, who has worked for Annetta for five years and with Annetta South for seven, resigned hours before an Annetta council meeting with an agenda listing “city secretary” discussion in executive session, as well as public discussion and action regarding the ordinance creating the position.

Wood said his recent actions in a public meeting regarding the city secretary position were intended to address a legal issue, as well as confidential information standards.

After executive session, the council voted to amend the ordinance to state that the city secretary may not be employed by another city.

Both the ordinance governing the city secretary position and the ordinance governing the mayor position were amended to require office holders for both positions treat all information from the mayor or council as confidential unless it is specifically stated that the information is non-confidential or the information is subject to Texas law making it public.

The actions came on the heels of recent controversial council actions, including the decision to decline to schedule public hearings on the annexation of Deer Creek water system residents despite a petition signed by more than 500 affected residents and the dismissal of two water advisory board members who led annexation efforts.

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