City council parts way with city manager — search for replacement begins |

City council parts way with city manager — search for replacement begins

Jim Ferree parted ways with Craig City Council Tuesday night.

City Manager Jim Ferree and Craig City Council have decided to “part ways.”

Ferree had the job for 18 years and will be replaced by an interim manager at the next city council meeting on June 14 while the search for his replacement commences. He said he’ll help with the transition for the next 30 days.

According to a news release from city councilman John Ponikvar, “City council and the city manager, Jim Ferree, agreed to part ways and to go a different direction with respect to the position of city manager. … The city council acknowledges the significant contribution of Jim Ferree for the management of the city the past 18 years and conveys great appreciation for his service and dedication to our community.”

Ferree said on Friday he was informed by City Attorney Sherman Romney that the city council wanted to “go in a different direction.”

“I thought about it over the weekend and if they want to go in a different direction, I’ll respect that,” Ferree said.

Romney said Ferree stepping down was a mutual agreement, the terms of which the city is now determining based on Ferre’s contract.

Craig Mayor Ray Beck acknowledged the difficulty of the situation.

“These types of personnel issues always are tough conversations to have but are conversations that need to take place,” Beck said.

An executive session was called Tuesday night to discuss the matter after council members completed a yearly evaluation that was presented to Ferree last week, Ponikvar said.

No votes were called in the executive session, as dictated by open meeting laws, Romney confirmed.

Ferree said he was upset initially but feels good about his decision to resign.

“The best thing for the community is to do what the city council wishes,” he said. “It does nobody any good to try and fight a battle. If that’s what the elected leadership wants, that’s fine with me.”

Councilman Joe Bird said he respected Ferree’s professionalism.

“I have to honor his reasoning for stepping out of his position,” he said, declining to comment further.

Ponikvar said he believes switching up the city manager position goes along with other changes that are happening across Craig.

“The hospital is changing directions, … the school district has this really dynamic new superintendent coming in and the college is getting a new president,” he said. “The city is changing, the culture is changing a little bit.”

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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