Gone already: La Feria interim city manager resigns

LA FERIA — Esmeralda Sanchez handed in her letter of resignation as interim city manager Wednesday.

On Monday, city commissioners will meet in a special session to appoint its next interim city manager.

Sanchez took on the role in July following the departure of longtime city manager Sunny Philip.

“I have genuinely enjoyed working for the City of La Feria,” Sanchez. “However the overall changing atmosphere no longer aligns with my professional goals.”

She said she has chosen to follow a different path.

“I wish the community a prosperous future,” Sanchez said.

Her duties were to oversee the functions and duties of the office of city manager until the position was filled.

Sanchez held multiple roles for the city over the last few years since she was hired.

She was the city secretary and human resources administrator.

City Commissioner Eric Hoff confirmed Sanchez’s resignation yesterday.

“We all received a letter last night (Wednesday) at 5 p.m.,” Hoff said.

Hoff said Sanchez’s letter of resignation was effective immediately.

He did not have any further comments about the resignation.

Sanchez was appointed interim city manager at a special meeting held on July 16.

Sanchez took the reins as city manager a day after Philip’s last day of work on July 15.

Philip had held the city manager’s position for 23 years and ended his tenure with the city making $125,000 annual salary.

Philip was terminated at the recommendation of a lawyer hired by the city commission to do a performance evaluation on Philip.

Harlingen lawyer Rick Navarro was hired to evaluate the performace of the city manger.

Reasons for Philip’s termination have not been disclosed to the public.

In July, the commission increased Sanchez’s pay by $23,000 from $57,000 to $80,000 to perform the interim city manager duties.

Sanchez said her only experience with municipality work had been during her time of employment with the city of La Feria.

Sanchez said her resignation was a tough decision for her, but it was one she had to make.