By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,151)
Portland City Manager Mark Rees announced his resignation today to the Mayor, City Council and City staff. Citing the wish to pursue other opportunities, both professional and personal, Mr. Rees tendered his resignation to be effective Wednesday, September 3, 2014.
During his three years as City Manager, Mr.Rees’ administration was able to move forward on many fronts, including:
* initiated and implemented changes to the management structure of the city government to enhance effectiveness and accountability including setting of annual city council goals and departmental objectives.
* established the city’s first five-year capital improvement program and received approval for over $92 million in capital expenditures necessitated as a result of deferred maintenance of infrastructure and environmental mandates.
* Presented three balanced operating budgets, each of which were approved by city council with minimal changes. Concurrently, unreserved fund balance increased from 9/5% of General Fund Budget to 12.2%.
* Coordinated a revised development review process for improved and timelier regulatory approval supporting over $144 million in private investment.
* Reorganized the Fire Department for better supervision and resource allocation resulting in improved emergency response capability.
Mark Rees added, “None of these achievements wold have been possible were it not for the hard work and dedication of our city employees.” “I appreciate the work that Mark has done for three years as City Manager,” said Mayor Michael Brennan. “He has instituted a number of management changes that have enhanced the effectiveness of city government. I’ve enjoyed working with him and I wish him well in his future endeavors.”
“He established the city’s first five-year capital improvement program, as well as presenting us with three balanced operating budgets,” said City Councilor Nick Mavodones who chairs the Finance Committee. “I wish Mark well as he pursues other opportunities.”
Mr. Rees will continue to serve as City Manager until September 3, 2014. At the City Council meeting that night, the Mayor and Council will appoint an acting city manager. A search for a new city manager will begin immediately in order to ensure a smooth and expeditious transition.
“I’m pleased that Mark has agreed to work with us during a 90-day transition period while we conduct a search for a replacement,” Mayor Brennan added.
Mr. Rees was Town Manager for 11 years in North Andover, Massachusetts. He attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his MPA. He started in Portland as City Manager in July of 2011.
City department heads were informed of Rees resignation at a morning staff meeting. The rest of the city’s employees were told via e-mail around 5:00 pm.
editor’s note: For many months now, there have been rumors circulating around city hall that all was not well with the city manager’s employment and that in time he would be leaving his post there. Some predicted it would come sooner than it did. For the last few months, Rees had become a target of City Councilor David Marshall (G) over the Congress Square matter.