Modesto announced Thursday that City Manager Jim Holgersson is leaving after nearly three years as the city’s top administrator.
The news release said it was a mutual decision reached by Holgersson and the city. His last day is Friday. But it’s been an open secret for several weeks that his job was in jeopardy. The City Council met in closed session twice this month to discuss Holgersson, but council members would say very little publicly.
Mayor Ted Brandvold and council members Kristi Ah You, Tony Madrigal and Mani Grewal had declined to comment when asked whether Holgersson was doing a good job and whether his job was secure, saying they could not say anything until the closed session matter was concluded.
Council members Jenny Kenoyer, Bill Zoslocki and Doug Ridenour also had said they could not say much but they still praised Holgersson’s performance.
Deputy City Manager Joe Lopez will serve as acting city manager as the council “considers its options for a permanent successor to Holgersson,” according to the release.
Brandvold thanked Holgersson for his service on behalf of the city and wished him well. “Jim had great success for the City working with our neighborhoods and local organizations to build community and improve service,” Brandvold said in the release.
In an email to senior staff and the council, Holgersson said:
“So the position of city manager can be a crazy ride. It is the CEO of the Council Manager form of government that serves at will and at the pleasure of the City Council. So as a result of differing visions for city leadership, I will be stepping down from the best job anyone could have. I was lucky to get this job and have enjoyed immensely the challenge that is Modesto. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Modesto’s City Manager.”
He also thanked the mayors and council members he served and city’s employees. “I especially want to thank one of the most hard working under appreciated group of employees who do amazing things everyday with the least amount of resources of any City,” he wrote. “Nine years of budget cuts and they continue to find a way to get the job done.”
The release said Modesto agreed to pay Holgersson seven months of his salary, which is $128,852. His contract states he was entitled to seven months of severance pay if the council released him without cause.
Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316