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Posted at 5:04 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Alexandria city manager will step down

By Christy Goodman

James K. Hartmann, Alexandria's city manager for the past six years, announced his resignation Monday afternoon.

Hartmann said he wants to pursue other job opportunities, including a county manager position in Seminole County, Fla.

"I was ready to pursue other career challenges and ... because it will be a very open environment, I thought it was best to close out this chapter as I'm building the next one," Hartmann said.

After eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard, Hartmann worked in Orange County, Fla., for 13 years. His wife is originally from Orlando.

Hartmann has previously worked as a county administrator in Eagle County, Colo., and Spartanburg County, S.C.

He informed the city council and mayor of his intentions at the Jan. 25 meeting. His official resignation came Monday.

The initial announcement "came as a total surprise and shock to all of us," said Mayor William D. Euille, who said city council members were able to persuade Hartmann to stay beyond his required 90 days until the fiscal 2012 budget is adopted on May 2.

"We got six good years out of him. He met the mandates we set for him," said Euille, who listed budget cost-cutting and making city and business operations more efficient among Hartmann's accomplishments.

Euille said Hartmann's "success here in Alexandria certainly raised our profile and visibility on a national arena or scale" and could lead to other municipalities to "come calling," he said.

The city is in the midst of transforming Potomac Yard into a multi-billion dollar development with a new Metro station, increasing commercial projects along Eisenhower Avenue and several transit studies.

"This is a good time for a transition," Hartmann said. "The organization and the team is extremely solid right now; most of the things in the city are operating extremely well. It is a very good time."

The Alexandria City Council will discuss and announce a search process for the next city manager in the coming weeks.

By Christy Goodman  | January 31, 2011; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  Alexandria, Christy Goodman  
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