Lubbock City Council Removes Dwight McDonald From Electric Utility Board, Names James Loomis as City Manager
At their meeting Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council discussed a number of items, including removing a member of the City of Lubbock’s Electric Utility Board, which oversees a number of items for Lubbock Power and Light.
The Council discussed the eligibility of now-former EUB member Dwight McDonald, after concerns arose that he was ineligible for the position.
Dwight McDonald, an attorney, works part time as a magistrate for the City’s Municipal Court, which the Council and City Attorney Sam Medina hold is a violation of the City Charter, which bars those employed by the City from being on the EUB.
Dwight McDonald said “I don’t expect to be treated any differently than anyone else. That’s my issue.”
McDonald specifically mentioned EUB members Marc McDougal and Carroll McDonald.
“Marc McDougal, their family has a contract with the city - $30,000 a month. My $20,000 a year pales in comparison to that, but he’s allowed to serve on this board,” said Dwight McDonald.
Carroll McDonald is a consultant for the West Texas Municipal Power Agency, and the City of Lubbock is one of the four municipalities which comprise the organization.
“I’m here to tell you that you appointed me in public, you can take me off in public. I’m not going to resign so that you can have it easy,” he continued.
McDonald said that he also believes that he will probably not be a City magistrate for much longer.
“I don’t think that I’ll be a City magistrate much longer, because I know how our mayor is, and I assume that somewhere down the line, my name is going to come up and I’m not going to get appointed again.”
McDonald’s allegations against Mayor Glen Robertson continued.
“My very first board meeting on LP&L in March, there was an agenda item to discuss comments made by the mayor in the public. I get there and they ask me to make a motion to withdraw that agenda item because the mayor has told two of our board members that if they talk about that in public, the city manager would stand up and read a letter that says that LP&L is under investigation by the FBI, and so they sat down and they were quiet,” McDonald continued.
Audio of McDonald’s comments and a response by City Attorney Sam Medina is included below.
Later in the meeting, Medina weighed in on the other two EUB members’ eligibility.
“Other issues have come up at this point, that, I tell you, I’ll be looking at now,” said Medina.
The Council unanimously voted to remove Dwight McDonald from the EUB due to ineligibility.
The Council also voted to name James Loomis as City Manager as opposed to his previous title of acting city manager.
The City of Lubbock will continue their search for a permanent city manager, and the 64-year-old Loomis still plans to retire within the next 18 months.
“I’m trying to see the benefit of changing the status quo,” said District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez.
Robertson said “I think you need to treat employees with the respect they deserve, and I think Mr. Loomis is very deserving of the title of city manager…I don’t think acting city manager is a year-and-a-half job.”
Robertson continued, saying “I think he is ridiculously underpaid, not only for the job he’s doing, but also for the position.”
The Council set Loomis' salary at around $200,000 per year when he was originally appointed in July. Former City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld's annual compensation was around $225,000 at the time of her firing.
The Council did not publicly discuss Loomis’ compensation any further.
Loomis weighed in, saying “This is an executive session issue. It’s a personnel issue, and I don’t know why we’re doing this in public because it is embarrassing to me. I will do the best job I know how to do no matter what it is or what you call me, but I don’t need to be embarrassed publicly like this.”
Audio of Robertson and Loomis' comments is included below.
The Council approved naming Loomis as city manager 6-1, with District 3 Councilman Todd Klein voting against the measure.
The Council also chose to indefinitely postpone discussion over a work session item regarding a possible change in City Council meeting times.