Assistant city manager resigns over management, leadership differences

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

Nov. 14, 2011 at 5:14 a.m.

Bruce Ure wore several hats during his brief tenure as Victoria's assistant city manager.

And after only eight months on the job, he's throwing in his resignation.

The assistant city manager, who for several months also served as acting fire and police chief and BootFest coordinator, put in his 30-day resignation notice Monday, citing management and leadership differences.

"Knowing when to exit an organization is sometimes more important than knowing when to enter," Ure said in an email statement.

Ure added the resignation letter speaks for itself.

The one-page letter, addressed to City Manager Charmelle Garrett, outlines issues regarding Garrett's criticism of his leadership.

"I have worked very hard as the assistant city manager, but my choices of accepting your authoritarian leadership style are limited because as you told me on Nov. 10 you 'won't change for anybody,'" Ure wrote in the letter to Garrett.

Ure wrote that he was criticized for "micro-managing" BootFest and for spending a day in Austin touring parks and meeting with their staff to bring park improvement ideas to Victoria.

Ure goes on to say his seven-page, six-month evaluation was over the top and about 95 percent negative. Ure served as Victoria police chief from 2007 until he was promoted to assistant city manager.

Garrett did not return a phone message left Monday afternoon, but did say in a news release: "I respect Bruce's decision and wish him well in his future endeavors."

The news came as a surprise for Councilman Gabriel Soliz.

"I thought we had a great team," Soliz said. "We had the next 10 years of projects planned. He's an essential part of it."

Soliz was speaking about projects like BootFest, celebrations to get residents passionate about their city.

Though Soliz was not able to attend BootFest, he does remember the city council applauding his efforts.

"It's a complete shock," he said.

The search to fill the position will begin in the next few weeks, according to the news release.

It is the duty of the city manager to hire the assistant, said Mayor Will Armstrong.

Armstrong does not know the particulars of the issues between Ure and Garrett, he said.

"They weren't visible to me. I don't work with them on a day-to-day basis," he said.

The announcement of anyone's resignation is always somewhat of a disappointment, Armstrong added.

"If it wasn't going to work out, it's good he resigned when he did," he said.



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