BLUFFDALE After going through four city managers in the past year, leaders in Bluffdale are again searching for a new manager to run the city.
Rich Knapp, the latest city manager, unexpectedly resigned Monday afternoon with an e-mail and little explanation. Bluffdale's mayor and City Council didn't elaborate on why Knapp might have quit, but it wasn't necessarily a shock to everyone in the city's leadership.
"I don't think he's given us a reason in writing yet," Mayor Claudia Anderson said of Knapp's resignation. "I don't want to say anything to discourage any employment opportunities he may have in the future."
Anderson said Knapp left the city on good terms, but it was a mutual agreement Knapp offered his resignation, and the city accepted it.
Knapp was not at the city's offices and could not be reached Wednesday for comment. Knapp was also absent from Tuesday night's City Council meeting in which council members denied a zone change that would have allowed the Utah Transit Authority to proceed with plans to build a commuter rail stop in Bluffdale. Planning director Vaughn Pickell is acting as a temporary city manager while the city gears up to find a new replacement.
City Councilwoman Nancy Lord said Knapp did not tell the city what his future plans are. Knapp had been employed by the city since October.
"It's a change we wish didn't have to happen right now, but you get through it like anything else," Lord said. "We'll work hard to find another person to be city manager, and we'll go from there. You're going to have issues and challenges all of the time, and you just deal with them."
Knapp was the first manager to be jointly hired by the City Council and mayor after a June 2007 referendum stripped Anderson of her administrative powers and reallocated that authority to a city manager.
Bluffdale's city manager currently has the authority to make most of the day-to-day decisions that affect the city, similar to a CEO of a company. Council members voted to remove Anderson's administrative powers after the mayor fired former city manager Brent Bluth and hired former state Rep. David Hogue, R-Riverton, as his replacement against the council's wishes.
Dave Sanderson, who acted as an accounting consultant for the city, temporarily filled in as city manager after Hogue's departure until Knapp was hired. The city will soon begin looking for a new manager, but for now, Knapp is still listed on the city's Web site, www.bluffdale.com.
Anderson said she'll be looking for someone who can help smooth over any friction between Bluffdale and other political entities."I just want someone that can do the public relations job that needs to be done with our public and see if he can help mend some fences, politically," Anderson said. "I think we need a person that can help our community get where it needs to be."