COVID has created waves in today's workforce. We have had turnover in the city staff over the last year, but not because of mismanagement on my part or on the part of former Mayor Brickner (my opponent would have you think otherwise). While it is always hard to lose employees, I look at these times as opportunities for our current employees to apply for a promotion. New employees and promotions also open the door to new ideas for the City to consider.
LLPD Chief Brian Asmus' retirement in late 2020 was not a surprise to anyone and he was involved in the process to select his successor, Chief Damon Simmons.
Detective Ray Bourgeois, our first LLPD officer after Chief Asmus was hired, retired from police work after almost 20 years of service in Liberty Lake. Officer Jordan Bowman was promoted from within the department to take his place.
Library Director, Jocelyn Redel resigned in January to join her family's business that was thriving during COVID. Former Children's Librarian, Jandy Humble, filled in as interim Director and was ultimately promoted to Director after going through the competitive interview process
Finance Director, RJ Stevenson, left us in February to spend more time at home and to grow his family farm. RJ was instrumental in getting his replacement, Kyle Dixon, on board by staying on with the City part time for two months. He is still available on an as needed consulting basis.
Two engineers have left as well - one due to a personal issue that I will not disclose due to the sensitivity of the issue, and the other moved back to Colorado to be closer to family. We are currently in the final interview stage with two very qualified individuals.
Finally, our City Clerk semi-retired after almost 14 years with us. Like so many others, she re-evaluated her priorities after working from home for almost 18 months. She valued the flexibility and lack of commute that came with working from home and opted to enjoy her time at home on a more permanent basis. As with our Library Director position, after a competitive interview process, we promoted permit technician Kelsey Wright to the Clerk position
Later this year, Katy Allen, our City Administrator of over 10 years will also retire. She had planned on retiring last year, but we were able to convince her otherwise. The recruitment process to find her replacement will start in early October and she will be part of that process.
Everyone has a story about why they choose to leave a job. The last year and a half has been unusual for everyone.
For more information on worldwide phenomenon that is being called "The Great Resignation", please follow this link to a great article in Inc. Magazine.