Phoenix manager will exit at end of the year

PHOENIX — City Manager Jane Turner has told the City Council she will not resign immediately but said she plans to leave Dec. 30, six months before her contract is supposed to end.

After Tuesday's meeting, Turner said she had agreed to stay on to allow time for the city to find a suitable replacement.

Turner said she didn't want to "leave the city in a lurch," without proper management, but said the upcoming budget should include funds to recruit her replacement.

Turner declined to discuss her reasons for submitting a resignation letter last month.

When former City Councilman Gordon Sievers resigned Jan. 31, he cited mistreatment of city staff as one reason for leaving and suggested that Turner had decided to resign over similar concerns.

"It's just been very difficult and very busy," Turner said Tuesday. "And you come to a point that you know when it's time to step down. I came down as an interim and have been here three years in March, and that's basically it," she said.

"I've got a wonderful staff, and I think it will make an easier transition if I stay on through December. As of now, they revoked the resignation and returned me to my regular contract."

At Tuesday's meeting, Mayor Carlos DeBritto thanked Turner for agreeing to stay on.

"I really appreciate the idea that you're going to stay on until December, and my hope is that things are going to go so good that you'll probably stay on a little longer," said the mayor.

DeBritto credited Turner, 68, with helping the city out of tough financial times.

"You may not realize it, and we don't stop by and say you're doing a wonderful job as often as we should, but it's just that we were on the brink of being pretty much down the tubes," DeBritto said.

"We're doing very well right now, and I love the work you do in the community."

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at buffypollock@juno.com.

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