Citing a need to be closer to family, Sioux City's city manager, Paul Eckert, has resigned his job to become the city manager of Mount Shasta, California.
Jeff Butzlaff, the man charged with recruiting Mount Shasta's new city manager, confirmed Eckert's move. Butzlaff said Eckert accepted the job, and signed his contract, Monday night. Mayor Bob Scott says Eckert submitted his resignation late Tuesday afternoon. Eckert's last day as Sioux City's city manager is August 19th.
Butzlaff called Eckert the "clear, unanimous choice of all the applicants."
Butzlaff did acknowledge Brittany Scott's civil lawsuit against Eckert claiming he created a sexually hostile work environment while she served as an administrative assistant. In court documents, Scott claims, from 2000-2004, Eckert sent her sexually suggestive e-mails. She also claims Eckert would touch her arms, and rub her shoulders. He would also allegedly comment on Scott's physical appearance, and try to transform their time at work into "an intimate affair."
Coincidentally, Butzlaff said the same day Mount Shasta city leaders were ready to offer Eckert the job, Scott's lawyers filed suit. Butzlaff said the suit "caused pause" for Mount Shasta city council members. But, he said city leaders determined "through due diligence" that the suit was not reflective of who Eckert is." Butzlaff calls the whole situation "very unfortunate".
Bob Scott, Sioux City Mayor said, "You know, I've always felt like people should do what's best for their families, and I told him that. You know, you need to do what you feel at this particular time is best for your family and the community will live with that decision. And I think he's making that decision for his family and I think that's the most important for me." Scott says Eckert told him he resigned to take the job in California to be closer to his family.
Mount Shasta, California, is a town of 3,500 people in northern California about 60-miles from the Oregon border. In a job posting, the city of Mount Shasta said it was prepared to offer between $85,000 and $95,000 a year for a city manager... depending on an applicants' qualifications. In May of 20-11, the Sioux City city council approved a 3-year contract extension for Eckert, which paid him $148,000 a year.
Our attempts to reach Eckert for comment were unsuccessful.
Mayor Bob Scott says the next step will be appointing an interim city manager. He says a search for Eckert's replacement may take time with the pending city council election.
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