DIXON – The city’s Public Works director resigned Wednesday about 2 weeks after the city manager was fired.
Public Works Director Terry Weter joined the city’s ranks on Oct. 23 and turned in his resignation to Interim City Manager Danny Langloss after 10 months on the job.
The resignation is effective immediately, more or less. Weter won’t be returning to the office but will receive pay owed to him for the next month, Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said.
“I think it’s just a personnel matter and how the fit was for him and the city,” Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said of the resignation. “It wasn’t a good fit.”
Langloss would not comment on the reason for Weter’s resignation but said he left “to pursue other things.”
Weter came to Dixon from Gila Bend, Arizona, where he spent 2 years as public works director. Prior to that, he worked for several communities in Wisconsin for 23 years, including 19 years as public works director in Elkhorn and 3 years as director in Juneau.
Water Department Manager Matt Heckman will be interim director. Langloss said he was the “natural fit” for the position because of his experience and professionalism with the city.
“Matt is a dynamic leader who is very well-versed in public works,” he said.
The city will hold off on searching for a new director until a new city manager is in place, and that search is anticipated to end by Sept. 30, Arellano said.
“Given what we’re trying to do with infrastructure, it’s important to get a good person in there in that position,” he said. “The department is centerpiece to our infrastructure needs.”
He said the wait could also give them time to reassess the position and better match it with the city’s vision going forward.
Weter was chosen from three finalists in a pool of 14 applicants for the position, and his salary was $91,000.
He was the city’s second Public Works director in less than 2 years, hired to replace former Director Tim Ridder, who resigned from the position in June 2016 after about 9 months on the job.
Ridder facilitated the merger of the city’s water, street, traffic, sewer, cemetery and public properties departments under one public works umbrella to better follow a city manager form of government and bring more efficiency to city operations.
Langloss said the city plans to ramp up infrastructure work in the future.
“I think we’ve got a great leadership team in place, and we’re excited to move forward as a team to accomplish the goals of the City Council,” he said.