Craig Lemin, Robinson’s new city manager, signs his contract Tuesday as Mayor Bert Echterling looks on.

Staff photo— Cassie L. Smith

Robinson City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to hire a new city manager, a little more than two months after ending its contract with Robert Cervenka to seek a management change.

Craig Lemin, who has 32 years of experience in public service, signed his contract with the city at a special meeting Tuesday and starts work May 23.

Lemin said he is excited to join Robinson. He is retired from the city of Azle, population 11,140, where he served as the city manger from February 2004 until January. He managed 130 employees and an $18 million annual budget.

“This city has a lot of potential, and it’s a great opportunity,” Lemin said. “We all have a lot of work ahead of us to get the city back on track, but I am up to the challenge.”

Before working as city manager, Lemin was the city of Azle’s assistant city manager and director of administrative services from January 2001 to February 2004. He also served as the Azle police chief for six years after working his way up through the command. He also was a detective for the Benbrook Police Department.

Lemin, who has a master’s in public administration from the University of North Texas, will be paid $129,000 in his new role and receive a one-time moving allowance of $5,000.

Mayor Bert Echterling said Lemin came highly recommended by city of Azle staff, council members and peers.

”The city of Robinson is very proud to have him,” Echterling said. “We are very excited to welcome his leadership and experience to our city and are patiently awaiting Mr. Lemin to begin.”

Council member Doye Baker was the only elected official not at the meeting.

The city ended Cervenka’s contract to seek a management change, according to the termination agreement. The city opted to avoid potential litigation and buy peace by paying Cervenka his accrued and unused sick leave balance, according to the document.

The council appointed the city’s water utilities director, Greg Hobbs, as acting city manager March 1, a week after unanimously approving a mutual agreement to terminate Cervenka’s contract. Cervenka’s last day was Feb. 29.

At the time, Cervenka was the highest-paid city employee, making $137,259 annually. The next highest-paid Robinson employee is the police chief, at $88,005 per year. The city agreed to pay Cervenka almost $69,000 in the separation, as well as for his accrued and unused vacation time, minus required payroll deductions for taxes, Social Security and retirement contributions.

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