City Manager Matt Zimmerman resigned Wednesday evening during the Emporia City Commission action session.
After the commission returned from executive session, Zimmerman gave his notice of resignation.
“Dear Mayor Gilligan and city commissioners, please accept my notice of resignation as city manager for the city of Emporia,” Zimmerman said. “I had the opportunity to further my career and have accepted the city manager position in Hazelwood, Mo. I have enjoyed my time working with and for the citizens of Emporia, and while I am excited about a new career opportunity, I am leaving Emporia with some sadness.
“The elected officials and employees have a true dedication for the residents of Emporia that has made this job a pleasure. In accordance with section 12(b) of my employment agreement, I am providing 30 days notice. I am planning to work through Oct. 24. This will provide me with time to complete several projects, including design and bidding of the far west water and sewer main projects, implement the city commission’s goals, and dispatch consolidation. Once again, thank you for a wonderful professional opportunity. I wish the city and its residents all the best.”
Mayor Rob Gilligan said he thanked Zimmerman for his kind words, and the commission accepted his notice without objection.
“Good luck with the opportunity and on behalf of the commission and the citizens, we appreciate the time and effort that you’ve given the city of Emporia for the past six and a half years, and we wish you good luck in this opportunity in Hazelwood,” Gilligan said.
Zimmerman worked out an agreement with Hazelwood’s consultant late Friday afternoon, Zimmerman said. He starts his new position Oct. 30.
“I have been looking for a while for some of those opportunities to be closer to home while still being a real good job,” he said. “This fits the bills for my wife (Valerie Zimmerman) and I very much, so we are really excited even though we are leaving Emporia ... with a tinge of sadness.”
Zimmerman was the city administrator of Prospect Heights, Ill., before he was sworn in as the Emporia city manager on April 18, 2007.
He was a finalist for the Janesville, Wis., city manager opening in August, but the Janesville City Council went in another direction in its hiring process.
Hazelwood has a population of 25,703, which is 787 more than Emporia as of 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Missouri town is a suburb of St. Louis.
The commission will discuss over the next few weeks about choosing an interim city manager, Gilligan said.
“I would bet that probably by our action session on Oct. 2, the commission will probably identify an interim structure to continue things on after (Oct. 24),” he said.
In other business, the commission:
Approved the consent agenda. This action approved the Sept. 4 meeting minutes, approved the August budget report, ratified payroll ordinance for the period ending Sept. 6, changed plans for the construction of 18th Avenue and Industrial sidewalk project by decreasing the original bid amount from $31,076 to $29,243.40 and authorized the submittal of the economic development grant to the Kansas Department of Transportation to construct Warren Way in Industrial Park III. The estimated construction for Warren Way cost is $950,000, and the city has a match of $237,500 toward the project from the industrial development sales tax fund.
Recognized the Crop Walk on Sept. 29, the Clean Sweep weekend on Sept. 27 to 28, October as Red Cross National Preparedness Month and the Emporia Kiwanis Club for 90 years of service in Emporia.
Honored Eagle Scout Kieran Forsythe of the Boy Scouts of America.
Awarded the bid of $199,950 to CAS Constructors LLC for the water clarifier repair project at the Emporia Water Treatment Plant.
Awarded the bid of $329,136.09 to APAC Kansas Inc. — Shears Division — for the 2013 paving resurface project. The commission removed the paving of Riley Avenue, $23,197.48, from the bid. The project includes the paving of the Trusler Sports Complex parking lot, $156,733.73; Trusler Road $80,481.19; and Overlander Road, $91,921.17.
Adopted the 2013 standard traffic ordinance.