Colorado

Mar 19, 2010 7:23 PM by Greg Boyce

City Manager resigns

The city manager of Colorado Springs has resigned effective next month.  In a letter released Friday afternoon Penelope Culbreth-Graft said her last day will be April 16.

This comes just days after she receieved what was termed a very positive review from the City Council.  "After meeting with you earlier this week," she wrote to the City Council, "hearing your future direction, I believe this is a good time for me to leave the organization so that you can pursue this new path. After 32 years of serving the public, I will be launching a family business in public speaking, consulting, and writing."

The letter from Culbreth-Graft continued, "In my two years with the City, inheriting a substantial financial shortfall, we have reduced deficits of $90 million and removed nearly 550 positions while working to minimize the impacts on the public. While your staff and I have worked diligently to plan the future with declining resources, a plethora of options remain available should you wish to reconsider them. I have worked to leave you with a plan for continued cuts and shedding of municipal operations."

She went on to praise council members for their "relentless service" to Colorado Springs.  She also praised fellow public servants and asked that the council try to avoid further cuts in pay for those people.  Even without any pay cuts, she wrote, the city workforce is "behind the market" and will lose ground in the future as Front Range cities recover.

Dr. Culbreth-Graft began serving as City Manager of Colorado Springs on January of 2008. She has served as City Manager and Assistant City Manager in a number of cities in California and one in Arizona, ranging in population from 12,000 to 1.2 million.

 

Entire resignation letter:

March 19, 2010

Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council:

This is to inform you that I am resigning my position as City Manager. My last day will be April 16, 2010. After meeting with you earlier this week, hearing your future direction, I believe this is a good time for me to leave the organization so that you can pursue this new path. After 32 years of serving the public, I will be launching a family business in public speaking, consulting, and writing.

In my two years with the City, inheriting a substantial financial shortfall, we have reduced deficits of $90 million and removed nearly 550 positions while working to minimize the impacts on the public. While your staff and I have worked diligently to plan the future with declining resources, a plethora of options remain available should you wish to reconsider them. I have worked to leave you with a plan for continued cuts and shedding of municipal operations.

I want to commend each of you for your relentless service to this community. What you are doing is thankless, time consuming, and difficult.

Finally, my comments must focus on the public servants who have labored tirelessly to care for the people of our city. They are to be commended for their professionalism-especially in these times of severe scrutiny. They are remarkable. I urge you to consider the business case for avoiding further cuts in compensation-especially given the looming collapse of the TABOR cap that will ensure no adjustments despite a future economic recovery. Even without any decreases, your workforce is behind the market and will lose ground as each city on the Front Range recovers, making it impossible to employ a competent, trained, and knowledgeable workforce.

Thank you for the privilege of serving the City of Colorado Springs.

Sincerely,


Dr. Penelope Culbreth-Graft

 

 

 

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