Elk Grove's longtime City Manager Laura S. Gill has been asked to step aside, but she received a generous parting gift.
Gill was asked to resign by the City Council on April 11 during a closed session meeting, according to a press release issued Wednesday announcing the change.
"The majority of the council felt it was time to get fresh eyes," City Councilman Pat Hume said Thursday. There was nothing wrong with Gill's performance, he said, adding that the council was looking for a different skill set as it focuses on attracting more jobs and businesses to the city.
Wednesday the city signed off on a severance payment of $297,053, as well as any additional pay and accrued leave Gill had accumulated. In return she waived her right to sue the city.
Gill's salary was $269,156.
Gill has been credited with helping Elk Grove balance the books during the recession.
"Her biggest asset was her diligence to turn over every rock and try to save every dime she possibly could over the last decade, especially when we went through the downturn in the economy," said Steve Detrick. "I think that was her specialty and I think she did an excellent job in that."
Gill did not return calls from The Sacramento Bee for comment, but sent a copy of her resignation letter. The letter thanks the city for giving her the opportunity to serve Elk Grove and details accomplishments under her leadership, including economic development.
"The Economic Development Department has made it clear that Elk Grove is ready and open for business," she wrote. "Together with our private sector partners and sister agencies, the city has made the Southeast Policy Area ready to host new employment opportunities."
She also noted that the city will complete construction on an aquatics center this summer and has begun work on a community center and an animal shelter.
"As a result of prudent stewardship and innovative planning, the City of Elk Grove is now hailed as a regional leader in many areas," she wrote.
The City Council plans to launch a national search and to select a new city manager by the end of the year. In the meantime, Jason Behrmann, the former assistant city manager, will serve as the acting city manager.