Springtown economic developer canned

Council ends Mundo contract in 3-1 vote

By Christina Derr

The Springtown City Council voted 3-1 Thursday, Feb. 22 to terminate its economic development contract with Pam Mundo and her firm, Mundo and Associates.
The duties that she’d been contracted to provide have been transferred to City Administrator David Miller.
Citizens and a developer spoke on Mundo’s behalf stating that she had been an asset to those looking to develop property in the city of Springtown.
There was discussion between Council member Richelle Pruitt and Mayor Tom Clayton when one citizen revealed that the mayor had attended a meeting with Mundo and the citizen in regards to potential investment in his property.
Pruitt felt that was a violation of an ordinance passed at the January council meeting requiring Miller to be included in all city business and precludes the mayor or any individual council member from representing the city on their own.
Miller said he was informed of the meeting just prior to it taking place and was not able to attend.
Lee Maness, who had signed up to speak on the issue, told the council that “he doesn’t care what your ordinance says” if he is meeting with potential investors about his property, he will choose which members of the council or city staff can attend.
Maness also came to Mundo’s defense, stating that she had made significant progress in economic development, and questioned whether Miller would be able to dedicate the time necessary to economic development with all of his other duties as city administrator.
Pruitt asked Mundo how many hours she dedicates to Springtown as a client.
Mundo responded that she is required to commit 30 hours per month, but typically spends more than 40, and in some months has done 70 hours of work for Springtown in a single month.
Pruitt asked if Miller could dedicate the time necessary with the help of city staff and the council.
Miller responded that economic development is part of a city administrator’s job, a function that he has performed before.
“Yes, ma’am, I can do it, but I will work in whatever capacity this council asks me to,” Miller said.
Clayton argued that Mundo was the better choice for the job because she has certifications that Miller doesn’t.
“We need a person with Pam’s experience and credentials to work only on economic development.
“David is being stretched too thin, in my humble opinion, because he has so much on his plate,” Clayton said.
The mayor went on to argue for the retention of Mundo because she has fulfilled the obligations of her contract with Springtown.
“She has done a good job for the city. She has done the job agreed to by contract,” Clayton said.
Council member Michele Kelley argued that with the high debt level of the city, continuing to pay Mundo $3,000 per month was not the correct choice when Miller can complete the same tasks and is already paid a salary as city administrator.
After more back-and-forth discussion between the mayor, the council, and Miller, Clayton stated that he felt the council was making a mistake and said that they should do “what they have already decided to do,” implying that the topic was discussed among other council members and an outcome decided prior to the meeting.
Kelley took offense to the remark, and said, “I ask a lot of questions and get down to the bottom of things before I make a decision.”
“I don’t appreciate that accusation one bit.”
Kelley then moved to terminate Mundo’s contract, a motion seconded by Pruitt. The contract was terminated by a vote of 3-1.
Harms was the lone dissent, and Council member Greg Hood, who’d requested the item placed on the agenda, was absent.


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