Dolan's tenure as city manager ends - East Valley Tribune: News

Dolan's tenure as city manager ends

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Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:33 pm | Updated: 11:17 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Jan Dolan's tenure as Scottsdale city manager ended quietly Tuesday as the City Council unanimously agreed to part ways with the embattled manager and treasurer.

Jan Dolan: Scottsdale city manager's hard fall

The council voted, without discussion, to approve the separation agreement that will pay Dolan more than $160,000. In addition, Craig Clifford was appointed acting city treasurer.

Meanwhile, David Ellison is serving as acting city manager under the city's succession plan adopted in November. The council has indicated that it intends to make a formal appointment of an acting city manager shortly.

Both Ellison and John Little, the city's downtown group executive director, have been interviewed by the council for the position. Both declined comment at this time.

After Tuesday's vote, Dolan backers Mayor Mary Manross and Councilman Ron McCullagh each gave brief statements praising Dolan, who was not at the meeting.

"I'd like to thank Jan Dolan for her years of service," McCullagh said. "It was eight very successful years, and I've enjoyed working with her and wish her luck in the future."

Manross said she regrettably had to vote in favor of Dolan's separation agreement, which includes nine months of her base salary, deferred compensation and car allowance in exchange for producing three reports about city projects and its internal structure and development process.

"(Dolan) contributed greatly to our success, and I've enjoyed eight years of working alongside her," Manross said.

Dolan's future was in doubt since Councilman Wayne Ecton announced last month he supported a "management change," which ended Dolan's slim majority-of-council support. Ecton, a previous supporter of Dolan's, has not said why he changed his mind. That left Dolan with only a minority of support from Manross, McCullagh and Councilwoman Betty Drake.

The council had three subsequent closed meetings. Emerging from those meetings was the separation agreement and the decision to appoint Clifford as acting city treasurer.

The separation agreement required Dolan to turn in a resignation letter by 5 p.m. Tuesday. The letter was not available at press time, but was sent to the Tribune at 11:29 p.m. Tuesday.

Dolan’s signed letter includes just one sentence: “This is to inform you that I am resigning my employment with the City of Scottsdale effective the close of business on December 17, 2008.”

Manross will be the only person who can provide reference information to future employers beyond basic information provided by human resources, according to the agreement. If Manross is not mayor, only the information from human resources will be provided.

Dolan also agrees not to sue the city or its elected leaders. She has the right to retire before Dec. 17, technically her final day as a city employee and her deadline to complete the reports.

Dolan has declined all interview requests.

The council has not indicated whether it will launch a national search for a new city manager.

With the upcoming fall election, council members have speculated that a city manager will not be hired until after the new council takes office in January.

"I think it's an important issue (naming an interim city manager), because we could go a year without a permanent replacement," Councilman Bob Littlefield said.

Dolan was hired as city manager in 2000. Since 2001, Dolan has also occupied the city treasurer position.

Clifford's appointment means he will report directly to the council.

Councilman Jim Lane said he is happy that the treasurer and manager positions will not be held by the same person.

"I'm certainly pleased that's in line and hopefully a permanent situation," Lane said.

Clifford currently earns $151,985 as chief financial officer, a position he's held since 2001. As acting city treasurer, Clifford will earn an additional $15,000 a year.

Clifford does not live in Scottsdale, meaning he would not meet the residency requirement of the city treasurer position. However, the requirement does not apply to being named the acting treasurer.

Clifford, who is scheduled to present the proposed 2008-09 budget next week, could not be reached for comment.

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