AUGUSTA, Kan. - After a brief four-month tenure as city manager, Gabriel Gonzalez unexpectedly resigned Monday night after a four and a half hour Augusta City Council meeting.
Interim City Attorney Cami Baker said the agreement between the city and Gonzalez included a non-disclosure clause except to say that, “it is in the best interest of both parties to terminate his employment.”
After a two and a half hour regular meeting, the council held a series of executive sessions that spanned more than an hour.
First, Ron Reavis made a motion to enter into a 40-minute executive session to discuss an evaluation of non-elected personnel. Upon reconvening after the initial session with only Baker, the council re-entered executive session. This time, Reavis included both Baker and Gonzalez in his motion for a 15-minute private session.
At 10:31 p.m., the governing body returned to the council chambers and immediately returned to a 15-minute executive session on a motion by Matt Malone that only requested Assistant City Manager Josh Shaw to join the council in private session.
Gonzalez left the council chambers with Baker during the third executive session during which time it was later discovered that the two were completing a resignation agreement.
At 10:46 p.m., the council returned to chambers and listened to comments by council members with no action taken. After comments, Childers made a motion to recess for 15 more minutes to reconvene at 11:10 p.m. as the governing waited on Baker and Gonzalez to return to the council chambers.
After the pair returned, Mayor Kristey Williams announced that Gonzalez had resigned effective immediately. In addition to a non-disclosure agreement, the terms included three months of severance pay.
The council then adjourned after more than four hours of work. As Assistant City Manager, Shaw will assume the city manager’s duties until the council decides how to fill the vacancy created by the resignation.
Several council members wished Gonzalez well after the meeting ended.