Tuesday, May 31, 2011

City PR head asked to resign

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2011 at 3:34 PM

  • Skiffington-Blumberg
In what might be viewed as a bad omen for the future of transparency in the city, the city's top public relations officer has been asked to resign.

Sue Skiffington-Blumberg's resignation is effective Wednesday, June 1. As far as her interactions with this paper are concerned, Skiffington-Blumberg has been a responsive contact, who had been committed to upholding laws regarding public disclosure. She has been with the department 10 years.

Reached by phone, Skiffington-Blumberg says that despite the obvious reservations some might have about the move, she believes the new mayor, Steve Bach, is simply looking for a change.

"I think that they have every intention of putting in perhaps more of a press secretary-type setup," she says. "I think there will be a lot more focus on the mayor's day-to-day activities ... Regardless of who it is, if that's the direction that they feel will help us succeed, as a citizen I want them to succeed."

Skiffington-Blumberg adds that she does not believe that the change was due to any specific action on her part.

"It's not a personal deal. It's not personal," she says. "I'm leaving with exceptional reviews and I do not believe this is personal."

John Leavitt, who worked under Skiffington-Blumberg in the PR department, said that his departing boss told staff, "The best way for you to honor me is for you to continue working and doing your jobs."

No one has been told who Skiffington-Blumberg's replacement will be, but Leavitt said the staff remains committed to transparency.

"My assumption is that we're going to continue to be transparent and responsive," he said.

City Council President Scott Hente had good words for Skiffington-Blumberg.

“Sue has provided many years of admirable service to the city, and I am sure that she will find a marketplace for her skills, and I look forward to working with whoever her replacement is,” Hente said.

It is thought by many that Bach will terminate several other city employees as he transitions into office.

"I would bet I may be the first," Skiffington-Blumberg said, "but I won't be the last."

City public communications manager submits resignation.

Sue Skiffington-Blumberg, manager of the City’s public communications division has been asked to submit her resignation, effective June 1, 2011, according to Acting City Manager Steve Cox.

“I’m accepting Sue’s resignation with sincere thanks for a job well done. Her significant contribution is recognized by City leadership, industry peers and members of her staff. We wish her continued future success,” said Cox.

Skiffington-Blumberg joined the City in June 2001 and has spent 10 years building an effective public communications program for the City.

“I’m most proud of growing SpringsTV into an award-winning cable television station, establishing the City’s Web site as a transparent source of information, creating a functional culture of citizen responsiveness and developing an asset management program that will hopefully be a source of general fund revenue for years to come,” said Skiffington-Blumberg.

The asset management program has been key to bringing the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra back to the City’s July Fourth celebration which will be held this year at Falcon Stadium. It has also provided 150 community public recycling bins through a partnership with Greener Corners.

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