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City boss steps down 10 months in

August 11, 2011

James M. Southworth

Through what appears to be a mutually agreeable decision, Bishop City Administrator Jim Southworth has stepped down after 10 months on the job.
Southworth had been on administrative leave since July 27. Monday’s Bishop City Council meeting included a closed session agenda item to discuss a “public employee performance evaluation.” After a short meeting behind closed doors, the council returned to chambers with the following announcement.
“The Bishop City Council and James M. Southworth announce their mutual decision to end Jim’s employment as City Administrator with the City of Bishop effective at the end of the day on Aug. 8, 2011,” the press release states.
The press release continues, “The Council Members and Jim share a relationship of mutual respect and friendship, but circumstances which are not the fault of either party led to this mutual decision. Jim loves Bishop and his many friends in the area and has enjoyed his tenure as its City Administrator. The Council wishes Jim the utmost success in all of his future endeavors.”
After the closed session, City Counsel Peter Tracy said that Southworth’s departure was a unanimous decision between all the council members and Southworth. Tracy added that Southworth will receive four months severance pay as per the original employment agreement.
Community Services Director Keith Caldwell will continue acting as interim city administrator.
Southworth replaced 30-year veteran administrator for the city, Rick Pucci, in October 2010.
Originally from Minnesota, Southworth spent most of his more than 30 years in government as a city manager in Washington state. He moved to California in 2008 to be closer to his children.

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