City Manager James Fisher presents an administrative update to the Brenham City Council at its meeting September 17th. Fisher's employment agreement was extended by the city council Thursday.

The City of Brenham has extended the contract of City Manager James Fisher.

After meeting in executive session today (Thursday), the Brenham City Council unanimously approved an extension of Fisher’s employment agreement for an additional one-year period, making the agreement effective through January 10, 2022.

The council also approved an increase to Fisher’s annual salary, raising it to $166,000.  The amount is roughly 2 percent above Fisher’s previous salary of $162,464.

Fisher said he is thankful for the continued support he receives from the city.



Several members of the council offered high praise to Fisher, including Mayor Milton Tate, who said he has “all the confidence in the world” in Fisher’s ability to continue to lead the city.

Councilmember Susan Cantey said she wants Brenham to know how lucky it is to have Fisher as city manager, stating he has taken the city “through some uncharted and very dicey waters” and come through “with flying colors.”

Councilmember Keith Herring spoke on the behalf of Blake Brannon of Brannon Industrial Group, who he said was “very complimentary” of Fisher at a recent meeting of county, city, and local economic leaders.  Herring, quoting Brannon, said Fisher “can be hard-nosed, but he drives a hard bargain in favor of the city.”  Herring added that Fisher understands some people do not always agree with his decisions, but he is “looking for the best prospects for the city.”

Councilmember Andrew Ebel echoed the comments of Tate and the council, saying he believes the city is “really blessed” to have Fisher as its leader.

Fisher was named city manager in January 2018, replacing the retiring Terry Roberts, who spent 17 years in the position.  Prior to taking the position in Brenham, Fisher served as city manager in Forney, Texas.

During regular session at today’s meeting, the council:

  • Approved an ordinance on its first reading amending Chapter 23 – “Subdivisions” of the city’s Code of Ordinances. The amendment requires commercial development, not just residential development, to place all utilities underground.  It also changes the assurances for completion of improvements.
  • Held workshop discussion on City of Brenham Parks and Recreation projects. The projects discussed were the same as those brought up at Wednesday’s meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
  • Approved a pair of resolutions authorizing the submission of grant applications to the Texas General Land Office (GLO) for the Community Development Block Grant – Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) Program.
  • Approved an ordinance on its first reading providing for increased prior and current service annuities in the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) for retirees and beneficiaries of deceased retirees of the City of Brenham and electing to make current service and prior service contributions to the city’s TMRS benefit accumulation fund at the actuarially determined rate of total employee compensation.
  • Approved an amendment to the system water availability agreement between the city and Brazos River Authority (BRA). The amendment is the same that was approved by the council on May 7th, and concerns the temporary resale of water.  In September 2019, the city agreed to purchase 774 acre-feet of raw water per fiscal year from the BRA, to sustain long-term future growth for the city.  The city currently uses about 2,777 acre-feet of the 4,200 acre-feet available to it through the city’s primary water availability agreement.  The amendment is effective until August 31, 2021.  Councilmember Clint Kolby was the lone vote against the item, saying he would feel better if this item was presented next summer in order to allow the city to gauge how much water it has already used in anticipation of a potential drought.
  • Met in executive session to consider an amendment to the gas sales contract between the city and WTG Gas Marketing, Inc.  No action was taken.
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  1. Recycling Center downtown still sitting vacant. I live in the county, I’m not paying extra to drive further to recycle. Recycling should be encouraged, not penalized. I’d like to see some stats on recycling amounts lately. Plus, hard to believe BIG actually separates and recycles what goes into the residential bins. Especially with “the virus.” Dumping in a landfill is much more cost effective…

  2. When the city promised no one would lose their jobs when the trash and recycling switch happened….then in fact a lot of employees did lose their jobs because of the take over, then to add insult to injury the company who bought it out is related to a city council member…that’s when I lost all respect for city of brenham. The “ older” generation need to step aside and let the younger more conscientious members of this community take the reins and lead this town to a greener, more community based, including affordable housing not this bull crap where house start at $200,000 to purchase. All the ones in charge now are more worried about lining their pockets than the actual community in Washington county.

  3. Yep been complaining for years !!!! Glad to see others on board now !!! I’d like an almost $3500.00 pay check a week TOO !!!

    Why? Explain to the TAX PAYERS WHY he deserves this amount of money !

  4. While I’m not a fan of this decision at all, I can appreciate that he at least is a city employee paying city taxes. Quite a bit of city employee folks not contributing by living in the country or even different towns and counties. Those are the ones that we should really be going after.

  5. Let the people (taxpayers) wake up; When all the people wake up (voters) THEN WILL THE CORPORATE CITY WELFARE GIG BE EXPOSED!
    Taxpayers, it’s your money and you need it now!

  6. “Councilmember Keith Herring spoke on the behalf of Blake Brannon of Brannon Industrial Group, who he said was “very complimentary” of Fisher at a recent meeting of county, city, and local economic leaders. Herring, quoting Brannon, said Fisher “can be hard-nosed, but he drives a hard bargain in favor of the city.”

    When I read a statement like this I see nothing but the “good ole boy” network at work. This smells so heavily of cronyism. A city vendor (who many in the city did not and still do not want) sitting around chatting up the city manager and then that gets used as some fake reason to give the highest paid employee in the city a raise. They must think we are totally stupid. I can promise you this, I will not vote for ANY incumbent in upcoming city elections, I feel like they have all completely failed the citizens of this city. After the whole garbage debacle, Fisher should be fired and the city council should be voted out.

  7. What a slap in the face to the City of Brenham employees…… I bet he didn’t lose one dollar when Clovis hot and everyone had to take a week off with out pay…. These City leaders need to be run out of town.

    1. Actually, EVERY city employee (with the exception of any LOWER income employee who were EXEMPT from this reduction) were required to take the week off without pay. INCLUDING all member of the leadership team. AND, under Mr. FIsher’s direction, all city employees were recently given that time/pay back that they were asked to give up in May due to COVID. So, maybe inform/educate yourself before you feel the need to be outraged on our behalfs.

      1. All Dept’s.need to make PUBLIC how many employees are in each department. Likely its overloaded & needs reducing. Few months back this was a mention in Fishers meetings. Just visit City offices, observe employees working outside whatever department & there’s lots standing around. Why & cuts need to be made. Ask a former employee how they managed & will say we did the work & didn’t expect 3 employees to do what can be done by 1. Fishers hiresCutbacksr all the new jobs is only adding to this over ridden budget. He’s going to run this town in the ground, stay thru his extension, draw the salary, add what he thinks were accomplishments to his Resume & his many perks…he did poorly in Fornay so why hired here. The Mayor leadership needs replacing because its easier for him to “go along”. Herrings comments just another ” I want to be heard” so I’ll make the good ole boy remark & make news. This City needs to remove itself from this GOB thinking. Citizens here don’t care about that …we want a well run conservative place to call home. Good side to this is we have old & new Citizens that need to run. Cutbacks need making & will only happen when Mayor & council replaced….only 1 on Council that does her job. Others only in attendance. Maybe there’s a fit for Mr.Fisher elsewhere but this City needs employees that plan to live here awhile & make this a desirable place to live. With social media today don’t kid yourself when prospects think of moving here they well in advance READ all the comments & follow meetings. People have access to all the news. Whether you’re a Native or just moved you want conservative leadership.

  8. $13,833.00 A month ( Before Taxes) Is quite a Hefty Salary for someone in Brenham To make, Plus His salary is paid for by our Taxes. Although most people working in Brenham don’t make near that much a month.

    1. The city managers salary is only a drop in the bucket compared to all of his hired city manager assistants and director cronies. All they do is write new ordinances that selectively regulates taxpayers and builders. Just look at the manicurist shops. My shop at Tom Green and South Day was denied a permit because it was too close to property line and then down the street at Stone St. and South Day St. a new manicurist was allowed right on the property line. All adds up to selective salaries, selective employment, selective enforcement.

      1. Good ol boys being good ol boys. They preach keep brenham small while lining them and their buddies pockets with our money. So tired of this selective nepotism

      2. The citizens need to know the rules. The mayor hires an outsider to run the city. The outsider manager then hires outsiders. That way all the outsiders can dream up new ways to tax the citizens. Like the new storm drainage fee, or the new garbage fee structure, or the change in the senior garbage discount. Then the mayer can use all this extra cash stream and give all the managers, directors, planners, raises in salary. Then all these high paid positions can allow big outside developers to change all the country town ordinances and build on smaller lots with development tax breaks and create more public housing projects. Meanwhile, the working taxpayers are paying for it all. I am sure the best is yet to come. The erosion of our country town continues.

    2. $13,833.00 a month….wow, some people barely make that in a year and then have to work a second job just to pay the bills. Then to add insult to injury how many other overpaid people does he have working, doing jobs that could be consolidated down to maybe a few less employees.

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