Tuesday, January 28, 2014

UPDATE: Mayor's chief of staff resigns

Posted By on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 9:07 AM

We just received this missive from Laura Neumann about her future plans. We suppose we haven't heard the last from her, given her plans to remain engaged in community issues.
My immediate future plans are simply to be a full-time mom and community volunteer. As you may recall, I retired from Benchmark Hospitality International in July 2011 to spend more time with my children; but felt the pull of public service when recruited as Chief of Staff for our City later that same year. So, after 25 months of public service, I am going to follow my heart and dive into parenthood fulltime while my children are still at home, in high school, and before they head off to college.   
Also, we just received salary info from the city. Neumann's current pay is $186,945 a year, and Cox's pay will be the same when he starts.

———ORIGINAL POST 9:07 A.M. TUESDAY, JAN. 28, 2014———
Neumann: Out the door. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Neumann: Out the door.
In what's became a fairly routine occurrence at the city, Chief of Staff Laura Neumann resigned effective March 1, the city announced in a news release today.

Neumann came on board in 2012 after former Fire Chief and Chief of Staff Steve Cox resigned shortly after the Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed 347 homes in the city. Cox will step back into the role.

Neumann, formerly with Cheyenne Mountain Resort, gave no reason for her departure in the news release and didn't immediately respond to an e-mail inquiring about her future plans. She received a $25,000 bonus from Mayor Steve Bach in 2012.

From our April 2013 report about her bonus:
Chief of Staff Laura Neumann's bonus was tied to her "hiring and managing outstanding senior staff," such as in the city clerk's office, human resources, finance, information technology, planning and parks; for generating "breakthrough strategies" in the city's Strategic Plan; and for "providing WCF [Waldo Canyon Fire] general staff support." Her $25,000 supplements a current base salary of $165,000.
Neumann is only the latest to leave the city under Bach, who was elected in May 2011. Among those leaving:

Airport Director Mark Earle
Fire Chief Rich Brown
Former Chief of Staff Steve Cox
City Attorney Chris Melcher
Public Works Director Helen Migchelbrink
Budget Officer Lisa Bigelow
Finance Director Terri Velasquez
City Attorney Pat Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy Johnson
Police Chief Richard Myers 

The news release:
Mayor Steve Bach announced today that Chief of Staff/Chief Administrative Officer Laura Neumann has resigned her position with the City of Colorado Springs. Her last day will be March 1, 2014.

Ms. Neumann was recruited from her early retirement from the hospitality sector specifically with the mission of attracting and retaining top executives while heightening and delivering consistent quality core services to the community. She was Mayor Bach’s key partner in developing strategies to make the City of Colorado Springs the most business- and citizen-friendly city in the nation.

Mayor Bach applauds Ms. Neumann’s accomplishments and expressed great appreciation for her noteworthy contributions over the past two years. Within one year of her hire, Ms. Neumann balanced the City’s near $400M budget while ensuring we achieved the highest fund reserve in the history of the City. She was also charged with achieving the reinstatement of key citizen services, including heightened public safety, enhanced transit service, improved infrastructure, greater citizen access to City services and information through mobile-enabled technologies. Six months into her assignment, she led City operations and policy-making in the Emergency Operations Center during the Waldo Canyon Fire.

Ms. Neumann has made watershed contributions which will benefit our community for generations to come; she will be greatly missed. Mayor Bach and the entire City team respect Laura’s desire to spend more time with her family and wish her the very best.

Mayor Bach is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Cox as the new Chief of Staff/Chief Administration Officer. Mr. Cox is returning to the City’s Executive Team for his third tour of public service for the City of Colorado Springs, following his retirement in July 2012 as Chief of Economic Vitality. He originally began his career with the Colorado Springs Fire Department thirty-three years ago, rising through the ranks and serving as Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Chief.

While serving as Fire Chief, Mr. Cox was appointed Interim City Manager for one year during the transformation to the Strong Mayor form of government, and in June 2011 became Mayor Bach’s inaugural Chief of Staff. In January 2012, he assumed the position of Chief of Economic Vitality and Innovation where he was instrumental in building a consolidated approach for addressing the challenges associated with energizing our local economy as a key contributor of Mayor Bach’s executive team.
Nearly two years ago Mayor Bach said, “I hate to see him go and tried to talk him into at least another year. His service to our City was tremendous and truly appreciated. I’ll miss him, but we’ll be in touch.” Needless to say, Mayor Bach and the entire City team are thrilled to see Steve return to the fold with his wealth of knowledge and passion for public service.

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