Bernal quietly named deputy city manager at about 200K

Odessa Interim City Manager Agapito Bernal addresses the crowd gathered to hear Jason Cotton has been named Odessa Fire Rescue’s new chief, April 21, 2023. (Kim Smith | Odessa American)

Former Odessa Billings and Collections Director Agapito Bernal, who was promoted to interim city manager last December, was quietly named deputy city manager six weeks ago.

According to records obtained by the Odessa American under the Texas Public Information Act, Bernal is now making $96.15 an hour or just under $200,000 a year. As the billing and collections director, he was making $50.31 an hour or roughly $105,000 a year.

Bernal, who joined the city in June 2006, was tapped as the interim city manager Dec. 13 after the Odessa City Council voted 5-2 to fire City Manager Michael Marrero and City Attorney Natasha Brooks.

One of Marrero’s assistant city managers, Cindy Muncy, retired less than a week later and his other one, Aaron Smith, was fired March 1. He has since filed a lawsuit against the city.

Their positions were never advertised and John Beckmeyer took on the role of city manager four days after documents show Bernal was “promoted” to deputy city manager.

According to Bernal’s job application, he has an unspecified associate’s degree from Midland College. He started as a Midland animal control officer in October 1994 before becoming the assistant director in July 1996. He left that position in March 2000. He became the director of animal control for the City of Mansfield in April 2001 before accepting the job as billing and collection manager with the city.

Beckmeyer, who left his position as the Texas GOP director to take the city manager job, is earning $238,000 a year.