PEEKSKILL, NY - City Manager Rick Finn has resigned from his position according to Mayor Mary Foster Saturday morning.
"After much deliberation, Mr. Finn has offered, and the common council has accepted, his resignation, effective December 31, 2011," said Foster in a statement released Saturday morning. "The Common Council thanks Mr. Finn for his two plus years of dedicated service to our city and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
The letter was signed by Foster and all six members of the Peekskill Common Council.
Foster said Saturday that Finn resigned for family and personal reasons but declined to further elaborate. She said he would likely be using up vacation time he had accrued for the rest of the month.
Foster said the Common Council will be discussing the newly vacant position at Monday's work session at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall. "We'll need to hire a search firm so we'll be discussing that Monday," Foster said.
Finn had been criticized by some residents at recent public hearing for being unresponsive to their phone calls and letters, and has been harshly criticized by area activist Darrell Davis of the Peekskill Committee for Justice for not taking complaints of racial discrimination seriously. Davis called for Finn's resignation in May.
"This is long overdue," Davis said Saturday of Finn's resignation. Davis said Finn has been part of a pattern of "bullying and retaliation" towards employees who complain about unfair treatment and said he felt vindicated by the resignation.
Davis also said comments made by Finn at a recorded employee training session were taken to be offensive and condescending towards about African Americans. "Rick Finn was put in charge of investigating it (racial discrimination) and instead he joined it," Davis charged.
Finn, whose annual salary was about $160,000 not including benefits, had accepted the position in August of 2009 and was chosen after the city interviewed almost 50 candidates. The city manager is a full-time appointed position that oversees the daily operation of the city, as opposed to the mayor and common council positions which are elected and part-time positions.
Prior to his job in Peekskill he held various government administrative positions since the 1970s including the role of city manager in Sandusky, Ohio and Takoma Park, Md. and city administrator for Sun Prairie, Wis. He resigned from all three positions for various reasons, which had been a point of concern for some city residents when he was hired.
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