City of Tucson Manager tenders resignation
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson City Manager Mike Letcher has submitted his resignation effective August 31, 2012.
Letcher sent a resignation letter out to city employees on Tuesday.
The following is an excerpt from Mike Letcher's resignation letter:
I welcome thoughts on improving our moves toward transparent and accountable management; that's what I was hired to do two years ago--provide leadership in unprecedented challenging times and bring to light areas of City operations requiring stronger and better oversight. During this time I have developed the Mayor and Council Work Plan that has provided significant improvements to city operations, (note: New Parking Ordinance recognized as finalist in Metropolitan Pima Alliance Common Ground Award) balanced budgets and maintaining core and other services with over 1,000 positions being eliminated from the budget. Salary costs down over 20% and overtime down 44% to provide current and future employment security for our employees during a time of increased service demand from our residents and businesses.
My strategies for balancing the budget have resulted in over $70 million in reductions. These accomplishments would not have been possible without the leadership of Mayor Council and the hard work of our Assistant City Manager, Assistant City Manager/ Chief Financial Officer, Budget Director their staffs and Department Heads and employees. It has been an honor and pleasure for me to serve them. I have dedicated my whole life to serving the public in cities that were never home to me. Tucson is my home and it is time for me to start enjoying the rest of my life that God grants to me. I have done my best with no regrets.
Unfortunately, I cannot change the current political and media climate in this community that focus more on blame than resolution. I know now that I can only go so far in changing the organizational climate of the city that has not seen consistent City Management since Joel Valdez. I know that I will continue to find problems to fix that expose the city to public criticism. Based on these facts I am submitting my resignation as City Manager effective August 31, 2012. This will allow me to complete one more budget cycle and for the new Mayor and Council to start a thoughtful recruitment process to select the next City Manager.
During the search process and the final months of my service in 2012, I will work with Mayor and Council to: implement the adopted plan for lifting furloughs, fulfill the final year of the current budget and finalizing the budget for FY 2013. I am committed to holding our bond ratings and establishing a firm foundation to maintain core services within acceptable budgetary resources in my work on the budget for next fiscal year.
As I have communicated to many of you previously, I have considered my service transitional until retirement to pave the way for the next City Manager. In keeping with that I have good reason to retire. My focus is not to have this organization hide problems, but to have open transparency so problems are brought forward and are corrected. Its important to make sure the problems do not reoccur and that the people who are responsible for day-day operations in the department the problem occurred are held accountable. Problems are meant to be solved not ignored. I choose to solve them. Let me provide information on some of our upcoming challenges.
I am in the process of authorizing our consultants to do an extensive payroll audit of the Water Department based on reports from employees of potential issues. We were notified of the potential issues in the Water Department by the interim director. Recently, after authorizing the city’s first Five –year projection of transit expenses, I discovered that over the next four years the city could be faced with well over $10 million in additional capital cost for transit with $5-$6 million of the expense being borne in FY 2013. The City Manager’s Office found out about the transit issue when the Five-Year revenue plan was completed, this was not acceptable to me. If I had not requested a review the transit expenses over Five –years; not sure when this issue would have been brought to my attention. Since the Deputy City Manager is over both of these departments, during his annual review, I will be requesting from him plans to resolve these issues and why he was not aware of the increased future cost for transit.
You hired me as City Manager to fix problems and improve the organization. It was also clear to me that my work would lay the foundation for transitioning to a new City Manager, at the appropriate time. I am working very hard to meet my commitment to you. I am not done with my work and plans to improve this city, but I serve at your pleasure. It’s your choice after reading this memorandum.
If you would like to read the full text of Mike Letcher's resignation letter, click here.
KGUN9 On Your Side will have team coverage on Letcher's resignation coming up on at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.