Village and Foutz reach agreement on exit
The Village of Salado announced Nov. 14 that it had “reached mutually acceptable terms” with Kim Foutz and had executed an exit agreement with the Village Administrator.
The cost of that exit has exceeded $100,000, almost 10 percent of the total annual budget for the Village.
It is not clear whether Foutz will be the last to go from Village employment. According to the agenda for the 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17, aldermen will meet in executive session with its attorney to discuss three personnel items:
• “the legal requirements for the operation of the police department.”
• “the legal requirements for the operation of the municipal court.”
• “the employment, evaluation, duties, and discipline of the Maintenance Worker for the Village of Salado.”
The cost of severing the employment of Foutz through the unilateral severance includes paying a full year’s salary of $80,000, payment of any unused vacation and sick/personal days and continue health insurance benefit for a period of six months or until the administrator obtains other employment and insurance. The health insurance benefit could cost as much as $3,102.
In addition to the severance amount, Foutz was placed on paid administrative leave by aldermen on Sept. 15. The paid administrative leave ended on Nov. 7, accounting for 296 work hours of a 2080 work year. At a rate of $38.46 per work hour, the cost of administrative leave will total $11,384.62.
According to the employment agreement, Foutz was entitled to 144 hours of vacation/personal time per year. Salado Village Voice requested from city attorney Linda Sjogren a total number of hours of vacation and sick time available to Foutz at the time of the severance.
In contracting with Bojorquez and Associates to conduct the investigation into Foutz, the Village spent $6,778.50 in the month of September for legal services related to Foutz’ employment. Salado Village Voice has requested the legal invoices for the month of October, but those invoices are being redacted as of press time.
Aldermen on Oct. 13 voted to contract with Texas First Source to provide David Miller as the Interim City Manager with the final terms to be determined by the Mayor and Texas First Source. The village will pay $50 per hour for those services with Miller working approximately three days per week for a weekly cost of $1,200. He began work on Nov. 1, according to the contract.
While the Village contracts with Texas First Source for city manager services, it will begin the process of hiring a new city administrator. How long that process will take and what that process will be is unclear at this time.
On Oct. 6, aldermen voted unanimously to “invoke the Unilateral Severance provisions in the employment contract with Village Administrator Kim Foutz and authorize the Mayor and City Attorney to take any necessary action including extending her administrative leave with pay until the effective date of the severance,” which was Nov. 7.
Prior to that, on Sept. 15, the board voted 5-1 with Dave Williams voting against “to place Village Administrator Kim Foutz on administrative leave with pay for a period not to exceed 30 days under terms set by the Mayor, in order for the Mayor or his designees to conduct an investigation into complaints against the Administrator and to determine if the Administrator’s employment contract should be terminated for Good Cause.” Immediately following that vote, Mayor Skip Blancett announced that aldermen McDougal and Fred Brown would conduct the investigation into complaints against Foutz.
The following week after a two-and-a-half hour executive session Sept. 22, Mayor Blancett announced that “on the advice of the Village attorney, legal counsel will conduct the investigation into complaints against the Village Administrator. The attorneys will report back to the BOA on or before October 6, 2016. In addition, he said that, on advice of the attorney, officials and employees of the Village should not comment on the ongoing investigation of the Village Administrator.”