The Van Alstyne City Council called a special meeting on Sunday, Feb. 18 at City Hall, with a quorum present. Mayor Pro Tem Teddy Ann Salmon conducted the sudden meeting that voted in and named the new interim city manager.

The meeting was called to ratify the signature to approve the contract for naming Lane Jones as the new interim city manager, according to Van Alstyne spokesperson Lee Thomas. Thomas, who also serves as on city council place 4, said the city council ratifies the signature to keep things simple and quiet.

“When considering candidates for city manager, we need to keep things within the employment contract confidential due to having different possible candidates,” Thomas said. “For example, you can’t vote during executive session.

“If we were to make an agreement to enter into a contract, and we announce in open session, then the candidate changed his mind, it makes it difficult, because we can’t make a motion on something that hasn’t happened.”

Thomas said the special meeting happened the way it did was because of the urgency to get things started for Jones. “The next regular scheduled city council meeting is in March,” Thomas said. “We would like for the interim city manager to start as soon as possible.

“To meet our needs and the needs of the new interim city manager, the posting requirements and the confidential information from executive session, this was the soonest we could meet to ratify the agreement.”

Jones is transitioning from Healdton, Oklahoma to Van Alstyne, and will begin his term as city manager on March 5. Thomas said he is looking forward to working with Jones.

“I am excited to have the place filled,” Thomas said. “I am ready for him to get to work and meet the department heads and see what he has in mind.”

This ratification comes less than a week after it was reported that Larry Cooper stepped down as Van Alstyne mayor amid allegations that Cooper used city resources to endorse the reelection of a council member.