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Sinton considers firing administrators amid wind turbine dispute

SINTON – The Sinton City Council is expected to meet tonight to consider firing the city manager and city secretary amid a dispute between the city and Sinton school district over a wind turbine project.

The district has sued the city after its planning commission and Board of Adjustment rejected measures that would have allowed turbine construction to proceed. The district wants to use $974,000 in federal funds and $243,000 in district funds to build two turbines at the high school for energy savings and education.

Opponents of the plan said it’s a poor use of public money, could leave the district saddled with unforeseen costs and would drive down property values. School officials have said the project was thoroughly vetted and the district would at least break even on its investment, while students would reap gains in the classroom by studying the turbines.

Three of the five council members requested Tuesday’s meeting, and they were tight-lipped about the proposed firings of City Manager Jackie Knox and City Secretary Betty Wood.

Councilman Eloy Lopez and Councilwoman Michelle Soliz would not comment. Councilwoman Linda Guzman Alaniz did not return multiple phone messages.

Knox, city manager for more than 14 years, said he believes the school district is influencing the three council members in an effort to fire him and Wood.

Sinton Independent School District Superintendent Steve VanMatre said school officials have not discussed the city employees, and that interfering with their employment would be irresponsible.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at City Hall.