Council takes no action on municipal court judges

Synergy Sports anticipates January sports complex groundbreaking

After a three-hour executive session Tuesday night where they evaluated several city employees, including two judges, the Odessa City Council took no action.

According to the agenda, council members were scheduled to discuss the “employment, evaluation, duties, discipline, complaint or dismissal” of Judge Carlos Rodriguez, Associate Municipal Court Judge Keith Kidd, City Secretary Norma Aguilar-Grimaldo, City Attorney Dan Jones and City Manager John Beckmeyer.

It was the third time in under a year Rodriguez and Kidd appeared under the executive session portion of the agenda for the same reason.

The first time the pair was discussed was Dec. 13, the night City Manager Michael Marrero and City Attorney Natasha Brooks were fired. The second time was a month later when a handful of local attorneys strenuously objected to the idea Rodriguez might be fired.

No action was taken in December and the matter was tabled following the January meeting.

Prior to going into executive session, the council also agreed to sign a Certificate of Formation for the non-profit Amy Bell Sports Foundation, which was organized by Councilmembers Denise Swanner, Mark Matta and Steve Thompson for the purpose of raising funds for the city’s new sports complex. The council also accepted the foundation’s bylaws.

During the council’s work session, Synergy Sports’ Jason Boudrie told the council he anticipates groundbreaking for the complex will be in late January.

The site plan for the complex campus has been finalized and contracts have been signed with architects, a civil engineer, a cost estimator and sports field contractors to do their pre-development work, he said.

All of the roadway improvements have been coordinated with Larry Bell based on the site layout, ingress and egress, he said.

Boudrie also said they’ve identified everything that could be sponsored at the complex, like fields, courts, parking lots and buildings. Theoretically, there are $50 million worth of “sponsorable assets,” he said.

The plans include 4,000 parking spots and four to six ways to get in and out, Boudrie said.

During their regular meeting, the council also agreed to advertise for an alternative municipal court judge. Jones told the council the city normally has three, but one position is currently vacant.

The council also agreed to allow Beckmeyer to sign a memorandum of understanding so Odessa can host the Texas Special Olympics in October 2024.

Jeanette Thorn, the executive director for the western region of the Special Olympics, told the council the event is normally held in Dallas, but they wanted to hold it in Odessa next year.

“I’ve been telling everybody that the west is the best so now we’re going to prove it,” she said.

Athletes who have never had the opportunity to participate before because of the distance to Dallas will now have the opportunity to participate in bocce ball, softball, swimming and equestrian, Thorne said.

“Now they’re able to advance to the USA Games and then also to the World Games,” she said.

Mayor Javier Joven said the city will be partnering with Midland and he anticipates 2,000 participants who will each be accompanied by an average of three people.