Durango City Council decided Tuesday to terminate City Manager Ron LeBlanc’s contract, ending his 12-year tenure, and appointed Assistant City Manager Amber Blake to serve in the interim position.
It is a mutual agreement between LeBlanc and the City Council. LeBlanc and the City Council agreed to publicize the settlement agreement and mutual release.
The city agreed to pay LeBlanc almost $100,000 – about $37,600 “representing all accrued paid time off and other accrued employment benefits” and about $61,200 in severance of three months’ salary – within 14 days of the agreement date.
The city manager’s salary, including benefits, is $195,582, according to the 2019 approved city budget.
LeBlanc submitted a letter of resignation suggesting his last day will be Oct. 1, when Blake is scheduled to become interim city manager. The contract also stipulates “a full and complete resolution of all issues between the parties including all pending ethics complaints,” according to the public document.
City Councilors and LeBlanc are barred by the terms of the contract from making public statements.
The council made the decision after meeting in executive session with City Attorney Dirk Nelson for more than two hours. Councilors did not explain why they voted to settle with LeBlanc. The council voted 5-0 to terminate LeBlanc’s contract and appoint Blake to the interim position.
LeBlanc did not attend Tuesday’s special meeting about his contract or a scheduled City Council study session that came after the executive session. He did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday night seeking comment.
LeBlanc announced his retirement in August and said he intended to leave his job with the city “in early 2020.” In an interview with the Durango Telegraph, LeBlanc said, “Even though I’m retiring from here, I would not consider myself to be retired.”