by Bob Geary
The City Council just met in special session and voted to end the tenure of City Manager Russell Allen effective July 1. The vote was 6-2. Mayor Nancy McFarlane said Allen's been a good manager for Raleigh but after more than a decade in that job, someone with fresh ideas and a different approach to the job is needed.
The meeting was over in a minute following the voice vote. Watching this online, I heard Councilor Mary-Ann Baldwin's voice come through as one of the no votes.
Not sure who cast the other one. [Update: Councilor Eugene Weeks and Baldwin were the dissenting votes. Voting to dismiss: McFarlane and Councilors Russ Stephenson, Randy Stagner, John Odom and — by phone — Bonner Gaylord and Thomas Crowder.]
The Council majority issued a statement:
Today, the Raleigh City Council voted not to renew City Manager J. Russell Allen’s employment contract.
The Council issued the following statement in making the announcement. “He has been a great service to our city, and we appreciate all he has done to help Raleigh become an award-winning municipality. Just as Raleigh has grown and changed, so have the skills needed to manage and grow the city.
“We are excited and look forward to the new possibilities and insight that a new city manager will bring us, and we are grateful for all the work Russell has done as well. Russell has agreed to stay through July 1 and we appreciate his willingness to work with us on an orderly transition.”
Allen's been in the job 12 years. He issued a short statement, per WRAL:
“I am honored and proud to have been the city manager of Raleigh for the last 12 years. I have always strived to make this a better city and have loved doing so. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most professional, caring and dedicated City employees. They represent the heart and strength of our City organization. I also appreciate the strong partnerships we have forged with numerous public and private organizations throughout the city, county and region. Raleigh has a very engaged citizenry and I hope they feel that I have been respectful, accessible and responsive. Raleigh is one of the most successful cities in the country and is poised for even greater achievements. As much as I will miss this job, I am thankful for the experiences and confident in the City’s future.