Grand Junction City Manager resigns with amendment to contract for severance pay |

Grand Junction City Manager resigns with amendment to contract for severance pay

The Grand Junction City Council convened in a special meeting on Wednesday, June 24, to discuss the resignation of City Manager Rich Englehart and to discuss his request for contract amendments related to his resignation. Following the reading of Englehart’s resignation letter into the record, City Council voted to accept his resignation and to approve his request for a contract modification that will allow for severance to be paid even though Englehart’s resignation was voluntary. The original employment contract offered a severance only if the City Manager’s employment ended as a result of Council terminating the employment.

Council agreed by a unanimous vote to accept the resignation and to modify the terms of the employment contract to offer Englehart nine months’ severance pay, in the amount of $127,680.16.

With the evening’s action, Englehart’s resignation becomes effective immediately. Englehart was hired by the City of Grand Junction as the Deputy City Manager in March 2008. He was appointed Interim City Manager in December 2011 and City Manager in June 2012.

According to Mayor Phyllis Norris, “Rich served this organization very well and it is unfortunate to see him come to the point of deciding to resign, but we understand. There have been so many accomplishments under his leadership including the completion of the new public safety facilities, completion of the Downtown Uplift, completion of the Stocker Stadium/Suplizio Field upgrades and construction of the Tower, improvements getting underway along North Avenue, adoption of the master plans for Matchett and Las Colonias Parks, completion of the first phase of upgrades to the Avalon Theatre, completion of the biogas project, construction of a Law Enforcement Training Center, and adoption of the City’s first Economic Development Plan. We wish to thank him for the many things he has done for our community.”

In the resignation letter presented tonight to City Council, Englehart wrote, “It is with a heavy heart I ask that you accept this letter as my conditional resignation as your City Manager. If you accept the following requested amendments to my current employment agreement, my resignation will become effective immediately.

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I deeply care for this organization and for a number of reasons it is best I resign now. Increasing conflicts, both internally and externally, that have arisen over the last few weeks have led me to question my own effectiveness to continue to represent this Council and organization. By accepting my ultimate responsibility as a leader, I am anxious to see the City begin to heal and move forward and I believe my resignation will be the beginning of that process.

Since March 2008 when I was appointed as the Deputy City Manager and continuing through December 2011 with the Council at the time choosing me as City Manager, I have been in either a supporting role or a leadership role on behalf of the City, the City Council and this organization on a number of exciting projects and ventures that have brought about beneficial change and progress for the City. I have been supportive of our leadership team as they have delivered quality service to the citizens of this community. My work and dedication in this community has resulted in treasured professional relationships and friendships with you all, the department heads, incredible employees, our ED Partners, citizens and business leaders. I have formed lasting partnerships that will hopefully contribute to the overall success of this community now and well into the future. I am extremely proud of the work that the Council and in turn the community has undertaken and the fact that this City is on the cutting edge. You can be confident that opportunities for economic prosperity will continue and grow during the months and years ahead.

I am certain that the dedicated men and women of the City will continue to deliver excellent service day in and day out to the citizens of this community. I could not be more proud of the role that I played in meeting the objectives of this City Council and the previous Councils. It has been an honor and privilege to work with and for you all and to serve the citizens in this great community.

In light of the contributions made and mentioned above I respectfully request your approval of my resignation on the stated terms. It is my hope that the City Council will recognize my accomplishments and will agree to amend my employment agreement to pay me severance upon my resignation in the amount of $127,680.16. As well, I would ask that the Council modify my contract to strike the 30-day notice provision.

Thank you City Council, the very talented and professional department heads, division managers and all the dedicated employees that I have had the privilege of working with and for.”

City Council also unanimously approved a motion to appoint Deputy City Manager Tim Moore to serve as the Interim City Manager for the short term until City Council has the opportunity to discuss longer-term next steps.

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