ODESSA, Texas — The Odessa City Council held their first regular meeting of the new year Tuesday night, and it comes on the heels of the special meeting they held on Monday.
The council proceeded with their usual business as they move forward with interims at city manager and city attorney.
One of the biggest items passed was the approval of over $300,000 to hire a consulting firm that will aim to better the City of Odessa.
The council officially had some new faces join them with interim City Manager Agapito Bernal and interim City Attorney Dan Jones.
An amendment to appropriate $338,000 dollars to the budget for this year in order to hire the T2 Professional Consulting firm was approved by the council by a 5-2 vote.
According to Bernal, that money will come from contigency funds that are set aside to use in events like this.
T2 is labeled as professional services, so a request for proposal was not required.
“T2 was formed 15 months ago, but there are over 125 years of experience – and that’s being very conservative in those numbers – a myriad of professionals within municipalities, law enforcement and also in fortune 500 companies," said Odessa Mayor Javier Joven.
Joven said the council took immediate action to find a consulting firm following the changes made at city manager and city attorney, and that T2 will not just be training Bernal.
“This is an assessment and a training and evaluation of positions that we continue to fund," said Joven. "Individuals…’are they in the right place?’ ‘Have they had any, or any proper training, any training whatsoever?’ Agapito Bernal is part of the City of Odessa.”
Ultimately, Joven is confident that the money spent will benefit the City of Odessa.
“T2 brings in a myriad of expertise, so it can be an analysis…’do we have the right people in the right positions?" said Joven.
“I think that once they are able to get through this process and they do that and they give us the results, I think everyone is going to be very, very satisfied.”
The council also went into closed session to meet with the attorneys the City of Odessa has hired to represent them in the pending lawsuit against Gaven Norris.
No action was taken after closed session, and NewsWest 9 will continue to follow any developments in this story.