Carlsbad City Manager leaves after a year

Carlsbad City Manager leaves after a year
Steve Sarkozy and the city announced Friday morning that they will be parting ways amicably. Courtesy photo

CARLSBAD—Almost exactly a year after City Manager Steve Sarkozy started in his position, the city announced that his contract will not be renewed, marking the city’s third city manager in three years.

Sarkozy said he and city staff weren’t in “complete alignment,” which is why he’s moving on.

“To reach peak performance, the City Council, city manager and staff need to be in complete alignment, and we just weren’t able to get there,” said Sarkozy. “Carlsbad is a great city with even greater potential. The community deserves a team that will fully realize that potential.”

Mayor Matt Hall agreed.

“Steve is one of the top city managers in the nation, with vast experience and a stellar track record,” said Hall. “Sometimes you can have all the right pieces, and just not the right fit. We are grateful for Steve’s efforts and wish him the best.”

Sarkozy’s final day with the city is April 24.

He was appointed March 11, 2014 after the city conducted a nationwide search and began April 14, 2014 with a salary of $260,000.

He replaced John Coates, who suddenly resigned in October 2013.

Sarkozy left Bellevue, Wash., where he served as city manager for 13 years.

Bellevue is a major Microsoft employment hub, has the same AAA credit rating and is ranked similarly for resident satisfaction.

During his time there he received the “Innovations in Local Government Award,” which is sponsored by Harvard University.

He won awards for neighborhood investment, e-government and intergovernmental cooperation and led the development of the city’s environmental stewardship Initiative, which focused on energy conservation and electric vehicles, according to the press release.

Prior to that he served for 11 years as city manager of Roseville, Minn.

Kathy Dodson will serve as the interim city manager until a replacement is found. This will be the second time she has served in the interim position, after she took over briefly for Coates before Sarkozy was appointed.

The city has not yet decided how to move forward in the search for a new city manager, said city communications manager Kristina Ray, and will discuss it at a future meeting.

Mayor Hall said he’s confident about the transitional time.

“The City Council has full confidence in the city’s leadership team and professional staff to manage through this time of transition,” said Hall.

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