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Kovacs ousted as Galveston City Manager - The Galveston County Daily News: Local News

September 28, 2016

Kovacs ousted as Galveston City Manager

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  • MissionaryMan posted at 1:26 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    MissionaryMan Posts: 3296


    It only took one hour for some council members to make their decision to fire Kovac's. It would seem that with that amount of time spent in actual discussion, perhaps these council members minds were already made up before they even went into the meeting?

    It's not unusual for top city administrative officials to leave their posts when they get a new boss, so I doubt Kovac's was the only one to blame for that.

    One things for sure... there's obviously no glory in being a city manager, but it is election time and people have a choice in making changes to their council members if they choose by electing someone who is supposed to represent not only their constituents of their district, but everyone as a whole! [wink]

  • JanKiml77550 posted at 1:58 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    JanKiml77550 Posts: 1

    Run, Michael, Run !! You don't know how lucky you are to be rid of the idiots that run this city. Good Luck to you !!!

  • mwcanrig posted at 2:15 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    mwcanrig Posts: 13

    This is very discouraging. If there is a substantive reason for this dismissal, it should be shared with the community. The fact that longtime city employees left for other positions is hardly an inditement of the city manager. This seems more evidence to me of a deeply dysfunctional council. A new search will be costly and wouldn't it be better to spend the money on fixing the streets?

  • mytoby3113 posted at 2:39 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    mytoby3113 Posts: 429

    Yes JanKim, I agree. my steet is horrible

  • IslandResident posted at 2:55 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    IslandResident Posts: 254

    Who in their right mind would want to work for this City?
    Council must learn not to micro-manage City staff or this will be a bi-annual situation.
    Another absolutely stupid council decision.
    Thank you to those who opposed the termination, though it did little good.

  • Richard Worth posted at 3:06 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    Richard Worth Posts: 276

    Government by vendetta.

  • Skywalker posted at 3:06 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    Skywalker Posts: 5

    There is a problem in this town where elected mentally deficient decide whether a person who has a chosen profession and experience can do a good job. That only comes second to their track record of bad decision making on choosing a replacement. Just being elected to office does not make you knowledgeable or even smart.

  • Jake Buckner posted at 3:47 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    I'm with mwcanrig. If there was a good reason for this ouster, let's hear it!

    As it stands, it appears this was the lame ducks' gift to those council members hoping to return -- a search for someone qualified to do this thankless job.

    Since Tarlton, Pappous, and Banks voted in his favor, maybe he'll be asked to to return. (Given those worthies' reelection, which is no certain thing.)

  • ScrabbleGuy posted at 4:17 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    ScrabbleGuy Posts: 64

    The reason is that he didn't make enough friends within the city. But I think the public housing had something to do with it. From here on out, public housing will always be the heart of Galveston politics. You just have to make friends with those that are against it!

  • RonShelby posted at 4:59 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    RonShelby Posts: 1031

    Sad. Some of those high level terminations needed to happen. As for a replacement, it would be "back room politics" if they named a replacement before the new council came on. They will really harm the quality of the new applicants unless a new council can call for applicants. At least some have already announced they are not running again while others are term limited.

  • RonShelby posted at 5:02 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    RonShelby Posts: 1031

    My suggestion, make sure you don't vote for any of those who supported this move in any way. Wish them " good bye".

  • Jarvo posted at 5:23 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    Jarvo Posts: 677

    The decision to fire Kovacs wasn't made in one hour it was made over the past two years of
    Below par leadership. Know doubt a good man he was not allowed to grow into the position
    Like Steve Leblanc. He will land on his feet know doubt. After all we are known through out
    The state as the number one dysfunctional city. Why else would we be expected to have all Galveston county's public housing on our little debri filled island. Everyone with a brain understands why. To
    Subsidize a half dozen big time family's here on the Island. Cheap labor, cheap labor, cheap labor,
    We are so stupid. I have come to the conclusion, it will never change. I hope I'm wrong.

  • Jake Buckner posted at 5:53 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    Well, that would be Marie Robb. None of the others voting for ouster are seeking reelection.

    That was my point earlier, and why I hate this vote. The lame ducks voted to get rid of the guy; those most likely to be back voted to keep him.

  • Jeffs posted at 6:10 pm on Tue, Feb 18, 2014.

    Jeffs Posts: 79

    Has the dicision been made on the Interim CM?

  • rah posted at 1:47 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    rah Posts: 212

    Future Candidates: Do not apply in Galveston for the City Manager. It is not your job or what you do that matters, you have to a non-existent personality. The Galveston City Council has a Personality Chart they use at each meeting. When they disagree with you they put a tally mark down against your 'personality.'
    Save yourself a headache and apply else. Ya think we can fire the mayor. He has not done much of anything. Ahh. we have to wait for an election.

    Kovacs- we wish you well. Sorry, the council could not have been more professional.

  • rah posted at 1:50 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    rah Posts: 212

    Rosen was one of the main people on council against public housing.

    Magnolia Homes- I cannot understand why a brick building is destroyed. My wooden house was not destroyed. It just received damage. Kovacs was not their to make friends. He was there to do a job. I think Beeton needs to try and sit in his seat. Let's see what she can do besides complain

  • seamus posted at 4:38 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    seamus Posts: 282

    I don't know who in their right mind would want to take the job of Galveston city manager now. The "successful" applicant will be subject to nitpicking, personal vendettas, and a short career before hitting the street.

    - Jim

  • gltn_01 posted at 6:29 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    gltn_01 Posts: 69

    This will not change until the form of government is change. It’s not working as we all can see. There are many good people that can do the job but because of the political climate we get people on the council lacking the skills to lead.

    Councilwoman Tarlton said it best, “Everyone knows that this has been a dysfunctional council, If we’re going to talk about what’s lacking at City Hall, it’s the council, the management that’s at fault, not Kovacs.”

    It’s a sad day for Galveston!!!

  • oledad posted at 6:40 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    oledad Posts: 74

    From the outside looking in this has the appearance of Good (Kovacs) vs Evil (council). Kovacs met all the educational and experience criteria. But in my in my 30+ years in management I never heard off someone being "conflict aversive" as a contention for nor performing their assigned duties. Managing conflict for a positive outcome may have been confused with conflict aversion. In my eyes Mr. Kovacs is the only one that actually met a predefined criteria that he performed exceptionally. I don't think we can say that about council. "Conflict aversion"...I hope that term never makes it to League City council.

  • Lovethisplace posted at 7:50 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Lovethisplace Posts: 25

    This city is a rudderless ship.

  • Island Runner posted at 8:23 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Island Runner Posts: 401

    Kovacs was not capable and should have been fired long ago. Now the problem is who the hell will want this job and if they do would we want them.

  • miceal o'laochdha posted at 9:13 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    miceal o'laochdha Posts: 661

    Good, bad or indifferent as Mr. Kovacs may be viewed, the Council has chosen to give $136k plus (of taxpayer money, of course) to Mr. Kovacs with no actual work required of him in return. In the real world (outside of the one inhabited by politicians and the appointees and staff they nourish), the rest of us are expected to work for the money we receive.

    This dichotomy seems to never enter into the equation for politicians when they wish to rid themselves of someone who (wisely) holds a contract for services.

  • Don233 posted at 9:29 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Don233 Posts: 920

    It's a very sad day in Galveston AGAIN. I can't do anything about Rosen, the worst mayor in our history, or Legg & Beeton, but I can and will fire Marie Robb as my council representative. Carolyn Sunseri will make a great representative for the folks on the west end.

  • IHOG posted at 10:25 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    IHOG Posts: 2486

    Many wanting a $140,000 a year job will be glad to put up with COG CC.
    A $130,000 + severance package makes it even better.

  • lisablair posted at 10:25 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    lisablair Posts: 187

    Don233, I'm with you. I live in 6 and will be voting against Marie Robb.

  • 66460 posted at 10:40 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    66460 Posts: 94

    Councilwoman Tarleton would make an excellent leader of this city in the position of Mayor one day.

  • IHOG posted at 10:55 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    IHOG Posts: 2486

    Voters agree.
    Galveston is disfunctional.
    Whos fault?
    Council or Kovacs?
    Or both?
    Council majority blamed and fired Kovacs.
    Voters can't replace the Council because not all are up for election this year.

  • IHOG posted at 11:00 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    IHOG Posts: 2486

    Isn't "us and them" most of Galvestons problems.
    West end and East end must function as WE.
    The People.

  • Jake Buckner posted at 11:03 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    I'm surprised by this comment -- after all, her political career is just starting. But I agree completely.

    I'm glad others have noticed her leadership qualities.

  • Don233 posted at 11:24 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Don233 Posts: 920

    IHOG, I can only make change in my district. Robb is my "west end" problem.

  • Jake Buckner posted at 11:56 am on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    IHOG, I believe this is Council's situation:

    Rosen -- not seeking re-election
    Legg -- not seeking re-election
    Beeton -- term-limited, thus can't be re-elected
    Robb -- seeking re-election, opposed by Carolyn Sunseri
    Pappous -- seeking re-election; not sure of his opposition
    Banks -- seeking re-election; not sure of her opposition
    Tarlton -- seeking re-election; not sure of her opposition

    So the ones least likely to return voted to oust Kovacs, and the ones most likely to have to live with him voted for him to stay. Doesn't make sense to me, but of course it's hard for an outsider to understand what's going on and what's gone on in the bowels of City Hall.

  • miceal o'laochdha posted at 12:13 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    miceal o'laochdha Posts: 661

    "Bowels" is certainly the right metaphor Jake.

    But, where can we find the needed enema? Next election perhaps? We will see but, history indicates more bowels likely than brains or heart.

  • npappous posted at 3:29 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    npappous Posts: 578

    Michael, I would suggest that you review the publicly available employment contract that was agreed to by the CC that hired Mr. Kovacs.

    It contains the information you speak of and will shine some light on your point.

  • kathbren posted at 4:09 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    kathbren Posts: 1

    What a disappointment it was when some of the city council members fired the city manager without explanation. It is within our rights to know the reasons behind the firing of the two year old city manager when everyone knows that it takes at least two years to learn the ropes. What gives the city council the right to spend tax payer money to fire someone without explanation? We deserve an explanation. I am especially disappointed in those council members who have appeared in the past to nickel and dime city vendors while firing a man to the tune of $136m in lost money without missing a breath. I think there must be some vanity issues going on here.

  • Jarvo posted at 4:51 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Jarvo Posts: 677

    Jake you may be on to something. Think it was a plan, not to hurt the ones seeking
    Re-election. Possibly they all wanted him gone,just didn't want the exposure. What you think?

  • Infamous Vodka posted at 5:18 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Infamous Vodka Posts: 94

    So who is running for Mayor? Anyone know for sure????

  • Jake Buckner posted at 7:13 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    I've read that Jim Yarbrough, Don Mafrige, and one other are running. I forget the other.

  • drumb47 posted at 8:36 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    drumb47 Posts: 404

    Good luck to Mr. Kovacs, who against all odds, worked within the law and in the best interest of all who live in Galveston.

    Years from now when children read about the dark periods in Galveston's history, they will read of a period which started Post Hurricane Ike in the year 2010. The end of this dark period has not yet been decided. This end depends on the voters who have choices to make about the direction they want their City to go. One direction is a City of Inclusion, the other is a city of exclusion, where sadly we are today.

  • Ole ball coach posted at 9:05 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Ole ball coach Posts: 30

    Worked within the law? Remember these words "FEMA FUNDS"

  • Jake Buckner posted at 9:58 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    So drumb, what do you suggest?

  • cocodrie2013 posted at 11:41 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    cocodrie2013 Posts: 162

    Sorry Jarvo, but you're not wrong.[sad]

  • cocodrie2013 posted at 11:51 pm on Wed, Feb 19, 2014.

    cocodrie2013 Posts: 162

    I also wish Mr, Kovacs good luck. I worked at City Hall when he came in & felt that he didn't know what the Hell he was in for. Felt sorry for him. He was a nice guy. I couldn't stomach what was going on there & quit & moved off island. When are you people going to snap that the CM form of Government is wrong. The power needs to be with the Mayor & not all of the little personal agenda minded, larger than life ego, power hungry minions that are the City Council???

    What else would help? Get off your butts & vote, Galveston!

  • drumb47 posted at 9:36 am on Thu, Feb 20, 2014.

    drumb47 Posts: 404

    I suggest that the people of Galveston vote into office a balanced body of people who will put the citizens of Galveston first and leave their personal agendas behind. I suggest that Galveston, once again, be a city of inclusion and not one of exclusion.

    The City Manager form of government has worked in the past. I remember the days when Doug Matthews was Galveston's City Manager. Many who are new to the Island probably don't realize that Galveston once had a Black Man as its
    City Manager. Moving forward, since the election cycle of 2010, Galveston has moved back in time to a time many want to put behind them.

  • Jake Buckner posted at 12:23 pm on Thu, Feb 20, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    No, I meant what do you suggest Galveston do to be "a city of inclusion and not one of exclusion."

    And now are you saying it's important for the City to hire a "Black Man" as its city manager? Are you suggesting that race should be a factor in selecting our city staff?

  • drumb47 posted at 1:40 pm on Thu, Feb 20, 2014.

    drumb47 Posts: 404

    No, I'm not suggesting the City of Galveston would be all the better for hiring or not hiring a Black Man as City manager. I was simply stating a fact of History of Galveston's past.

    Only the voters can move Galveston forward. Burying ones head in the sand and refusing to admit that a problem does exit, doesn't make the problem go a way.

  • Jake Buckner posted at 3:45 pm on Thu, Feb 20, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    Drumb, the reason I'm pushing back on your inclusion statement (which mytoby often voices as well) is that I find Galveston an especially inclusive place, and I'm wondering why you don't.

    Galveston could be considered a flagship of racial diversity. Maybe Houston is more diverse, but there is certainly a mixture of races on the Island. I don't see blacks, Asians, or Hispanics being treated poorly or denied opportunities, but maybe that's just my perspective.

    As for national origin, Germany, Italy and Greece have certainly contributed their share of outstanding citizens. Plenty of Spanish, Mexican, and Central American influence too. I don't sense any hatred, and not really any rivalry among these people of differing origin. In fact, everyone gets along pretty well.

    The LGBT community seems to be thriving and apparently feels quite comfortable on the Island, possibly more so than anywhere else I've been. This particularly pleases me, because it DOES demonstrate an inclusiveness that most towns don't have.

    I just read an article in this newspaper stating that some publication had rated Galveston one of the 10 friendliest cities in the nation. Sure, it was a cursory examination, but still it must signify something.

    So I'm missing your point about Galveston's lack of inclusiveness. To me it feels just the opposite.

  • drumb47 posted at 6:51 pm on Thu, Feb 20, 2014.

    drumb47 Posts: 404

    I don't need a history lesson on Galveston. I was born on the Island. Many of my friends teach or taught in Galveston.

  • Jake Buckner posted at 10:03 pm on Thu, Feb 20, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    You've decided to duck my question, haven't you?

  • drumb47 posted at 8:59 am on Sat, Feb 22, 2014.

    drumb47 Posts: 404

    Duck your question? Read all my comments and you will find that I had previously addressed what you are now asking.

  • Jake Buckner posted at 11:30 am on Sat, Feb 22, 2014.

    Jake Buckner Posts: 2240

    drumb -- I read all your posts, and I can't find where you addressed why you feel Galveston lacks inclusiveness. I found places where you said a lack of inclusiveness was a problem that needs to be solved, but nowhere did I see a definition of what you meant by it, or why you felt it yourself.

    That's okay. I'm ready to drop it. To me Galveston's inclusiveness is one of its defining traits.

  • raifm posted at 8:06 pm on Sat, Feb 22, 2014.

    raifm Posts: 87

    To me, a white guy, exclusion is this council ignoring the height and density work that the citizens worked on for about two years. Inclusion means considering the desires of ALL citizens.

    The only thing taxpayers owe business are good clean streets, good utilities and good policing and fire service. As a private citizen, that's all the city owes me.

    As far as economic development goes. Why do they spend my tax money giving special STUFF to businesses.

    This town has a history of corruption. We need to be on guard that it doesn't return

    This town has more jobs then citizens. Don't believe me- go look at the inbound traffic on the causeway. The water park at the airport recruits fornien youths to work there

    As for mixed income housing- I'm all for it. I may want to live there when I get tired of home ownership

    When people say it's n ot about money- it's about money
    When people say it's not about race- it's about race

    Raif M Smith