City Officials verified that Athens City Manager Philip Rodriguez submitted his letter of resignation today.
Rodriguez’s last day will be Sept. 10, according to the letter, which says, “It is now time for me to move on in my journey ….”
Rodriguez was hired in March 2015 to replace Pam Burton, who had stepped down in December 2014.
Below is the text of the letter.
Dear Mayor Montgomery, Mayor Pro-Tem Winn and Councilmembers Clay, McCain and Whatley:
It has been my distinct pleasure and honor to represent you, our employees and this community as your City Manager since March 2015. Together we have successfully restored severely neglected water and wastewater systems, brought much needed financial stability which resulted in a four-tier improvement in the City’s credit rating and established a 60-day financial reserve for the first time in City history. We invested heavily in quality of life amenities like our parks and historic assets such as the Texan, created strategic plans for Athens’ future, significantly increased public safety by funding and hiring new police officers and fire inspectors, abated blighted buildings such as the old hospital, found countless efficiencies that saved our taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest and fees, experienced significant growth and development and ushered in new investment at a pace not seen in decades. We did all of this and more while establishing a truly impressive city staff that is one of the most capable group of professionals and public servants that I have ever worked with. I am extremely proud to have played a key leadership role in our countless successes as a City, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
It is now time to for me to move on in my journey, and as such, I am providing this letter as my notice of resignation as City Manager, effective September 10, 2017. It is my commitment to work with you and our entire Management Team to plan for a smooth transition of projects, initiatives and responsibilities prior to my departure. Knowing this decision will impact the organization, I earnestly encourage you to rely on the members of the Management Team to help lead the way forward. Each member of the Team is a true professional, subject-expert and leader in the organization and community. In particular, I urge you to consider relying heavily on Gary Whittle, Director of Project Management to serve in an Interim City Manager capacity. I am confident that he can assist the City Council as you ensure quality service delivery for the community until such a time that a permanent City Manager can be selected.
Lastly, I wish to thank Mayor Jerry Don Vaught for his consistent support and mentorship during my time in Athens. He, along with a number of dedicated community leaders like yourselves, ignited a resurgence in Athens that set the stage for the City’s greatest days ahead. Thank you for allowing me to serve as City Manager of Athens, and I wish you and the City much success in the future.
In Public Service,