LEON VALLEY, Texas – The Leon Valley City Council accepted the city manager’s resignation and appointed the police chief as interim during Tuesday’s council meeting.
Kelly Kuenstler’s resignation will go into effect on May 1.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Kuenstler read her resignation letter to council members.
Kuenstler mentioned the division among council members, but said her resignation did not have to do with the recent turmoil. She said she is “ready to go on to new things” and said that citizens deserve a united city council.
According to her biography on the city’s website, she’s served as city manager since September 2015.
Kuenstler recommended Police Chief Joe Salvaggio to serve as interim city manager and touted his qualifications to serve in such a position.
In a 4-1 vote, the council approved Salvaggio to serve as interim city manager for 18 months. As part of the agreement, Salvaggio will receive a $15,000 raise. The current assistant police chief, Ruben Saucedo, will serve as interim police chief. He will also receive a raise, although the amount was not discussed during Tuesday’s meeting.
Councilman Will Bradshaw was the only council member to oppose appointing Salvaggio as interim city manager. Bradshaw said the home charter rule did not require an interim, only an acting city manager. He also said that he didn’t believe that Salvaggio is “the one to heal the city.”
Resident after resident took the podium and questioned the need for an interim city manager. They also questioned the length of time that Salvaggio would serve as interim.
Kuenstler recommended the 18-month agreement, which councilwoman Monica Alcocer said would provide the most stability. Alcocer said anything shorter would interrupt the city budget planning process.
The terms of Kuenstler’s separation agreement with the City of Leon Valley remain unknown. Council members voted to take up the item at the next city council meeting on Feb. 18.