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Gridley City Administrator resigns after Council's closed session

Gridley City Administrator Paul Eckert is going to separate "gradually" from city employment, according to council members who voted unanimously Wednesday night to accept his resignation.

Posted: Oct 22, 2020 11:50 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 2:09 PM

GRIDLEY, Calif. - Gridley City Administrator and Finance Director, Paul Eckert, officially resigned from his office effective Nov. 30, 2020, after a closed session was held with members of the City Council at a special meeting concerning his performance.

Prior to the closed session, citizens spoke during a public comment period about their concerns. Every seat was taken in the chambers, according to Gridley Police Lt. Reuben Quihuiz. He said there were a reduced number of seats in the hall due to Covid-19 precautions.

Lt. Quihuiz said the closed session lasted less than two hours. At that time the resignation of the City Administrator/Finance Director was shared with the public.

A statement was posted on the Gridley City website on Thursday that stated the vote to accept Eckert's resignation was unanimous (4-0).

Eckert will be on paid administrative leave, working remotely, until the formal separation date of November 30, 2020. Eckert will "continue to focus on administration of critical city service,s while laying the groundwork for a smoother transition to a successor," according to the City's statement.

The action is being called a "gradual" separation from the City of Gridley. City personnel and media have been directed to contact Police Chief Rodney Harr for guidance or comment on any city personnel or management issues. Chief Harr has been in his position since April 2020 but has had a long career in law enforcement with the Gridley Police Department.

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According to the city's website, the City Administrator's Office is responsible for implementing the policy decisions of the City Council and for the management and coordination of the day-to-day operations of the City. Responsibilities include overall leadership of all City Departments and direct coordination with the City Council, as well as public information, intergovernmental relations, economic development, and utility, and franchise management.

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The City Administrator also serves as the City Finance Director. The Administrator prepares comprehensive business assistance packages for new and existing companies, including local and state incentives, loan programs, and development agreements. the Administrator works closely with companies and is the primary contact for many State of California programs.

According to a statement on the city's website, the Administrator and City staff are held to the highest possible code of conduct and ethics. The International City Managers Association's (ICMA) Code of Ethics can be found online, Click Here.

A search for a new Gridley City Administrator and Finance Director will begin soon.

For continuing coverage on news across Northern California, download the Action News Now app.

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