Mitchell announces resignation as Escondido city manager

Mitchell announces resignation as Escondido city manager
Escondido City Manager Graham Mitchell announced his resignation Friday. It is effective Dec. 31. Courtesy photo

ESCONDIDO — The city is searching for a new city manager.

On Friday, city staff released a statement announcing Graham Mitchell’s resignation, which is effective Dec. 31.

In a statement to Mayor Sam Abed and the council, Mitchell said after “serious reflection and for personal reasons,” he is stepping down from the position. He was named city manager in December 2015 after Clay Phillips retired from the job.

“I believed that I had opportunities to build better relationships between the city and the development community, engaged staff in preparing the first phase of streamlined measures to assist businesses and new development, participated in the visioning of a potential new library and expanded Grape Day Park, and led an organization that generated a General Plan budget surplus of $1.8 million last fiscal year,” Mitchell’s resignation letter read.

He added he was impressed by city staff, their professionalism and belief their work makes a difference for Escondido residents.

Mitchell also promoted three high-ranking city officials — Jay Petrek as assistant city manager; Bill Martin of Community Development; and Russ Knowles as fire chief.

“I hope that in my short time with the city, I was able to influence the organization in a way that continues to foster creativity, an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for public service,” Mitchell’s letter concluded.

Prior to his work in Escondido, he was city manager in Lemon Grove for 12 years and Farmersville for three. Mitchell was the assistant city manager in Escondido from June to December 2015.

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