After executive session during Alice City Council's meeting on Thursday, the council decided to begin discussion and negotiation of David Vela's compensation package, terms, conditions employment and severance agreement.

Before the item was passed, Mayor Ike Ornelas began to speak about the council's previous years and spending.

"Looking at those years, we have a revenue problem and a spending problem," he said.

He also stated that the beginning salary for a city manager without experience is about $84,000. The city of Alice has $127,000 budgeted for the city manager position, he said.

"Our city can not afford that," he said.

City attorney Joe Torres interrupted Ornelas to point out that he was speaking about a private item that could only be discussed in executive session.

Ornelas told Torres he was out of order and asked the council for discussion on the item.

Councilman Pete Beltran asked the mayor what he was getting at with saying the city can't afford the salary. Ornelas responded with saying the city has a spending problem.

"We need a leader to help us. That's more of a reason to have that position filled, to help us with our problem," Beltran said.

Councilman Michael Esparza then made a motion to authorized a committee to begin negotiations with Vela about the compensation package. The item passed and the committee will present something to the council by their next meeting on Tuesday.