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Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District names interim director

Steven Viera
Posted at 10:51 AM, Mar 01, 2022

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi Assistant City Manager Steve Viera has been named interim director of the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District.

Viera holds degrees in Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration and has 19 years of experience in human resources.

Tuesday was former director Annette Rodriguez’s last day with the district. She has worked with the district since 2002.

While her position was terminated, she is among the applicants to fill the permanent role in the newly reformed health district, which officially begins Tuesday, Viera said.

“We want to make sure the director position is in line with the vision we have moving forward,” Viera said. “We wanted everyone to go through the same process. We wanted to do a national recruitment. We didn’t want anyone in an interim role.”

He added that Rodriguez would be considered along with every other applicant.

City Manager Peter Zanoni said that the search is ongoing by a national search firm and that 12 highly qualified applicants had been vetted for the position and narrowed to eight.

He added there is no word yet on when the city would decide on the top spot.

On Feb. 14,Nueces County commissioners voted to approvethe recently amended joint cooperative agreement with the city of Corpus Christi, which keeps the City of Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District intact.

However, the measure was met with concern by Nueces County Judge Barbra Canales, as the agreement meant staff members needed to reapply for the positions they already held.

"They’ve been doing a great job," she told KRIS 6 News on Feb. 15. "They’ve been on the front lines. They’ve been in dangerous positions. And they need to be able to keep their jobs.”

Among the five members of the commissioner's court and the nine members of the city council, Canales is the only member to vote against the city's exclusive management of the health district.

The City of Corpus Christi signed their end of the agreement on Feb. 15, which gave the city full control of the health district.

Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni told KRIS 6 News on Tuesday that all frontline, or non-exempt workers, at both the county and city, had been hired to work at the health district.

Two mid-level county managers were not hired, given that the grant funding for their position did not transfer to the city. A third county employee withdrew their application to work at the health district.

Two mid-level managers for the city were not hired. The city is in the process of helping to find those city managers new jobs with the city, per city policy.

Zanoni, Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo and Viera met with those workers Tuesday emphasizing new programs that the district would offer and old programs that would return.

Many employees lined up to speak with Viera following the meeting.

He said he will be working from the health district, rather than City Hall, daily, and is working to "open doors" that had been closed.