It has been apparent for several weeks now that the relationship between Ron LeBlanc, Durango’s city manager, and a majority of the City Council, including the mayor, is not as good as it could be, or as it should be.
It began to unravel for real when LeBlanc announced, at a City Council meeting, that he planned to retire, and that he would leave early next year, about four months from now.
LeBlanc subsequently elaborated on his remarks, saying he was not retiring so much as just retiring from Durango, and that he made the announcement that evening because he did not like the “approach” of the elected officials who supervise him when they discussed supervising him.
Let us suppose you had a boss – in this case, the people whom the councilors represent – and you told your boss, during a job evaluation, that you did not care for her tone and found it unhelpful. What do you suppose would happen?
LeBlanc effectively quit, in protest, a few weeks back. That is his prerogative. But what is especially not helpful is to have an employee in a critical role who announces he is quitting in protest four months from now.
We do not see the point of LeBlanc staying on any longer now than the couple of weeks needed to effect some interim transition.
Mayor Melissa Youssef and councilors Kim Baxter and Barbara Noseworthy perhaps can see the same writing on the wall: It is time for the city to move on constructively.
There are opportunities to be realized from a majority of council finding a new city manager with whom they can work harmoniously, and who can help realize a vision for the city’s future. We want to focus on that. Durango wants to focus on that.
It is time for City Council to find a city manager who wants to work with them.