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Contingencies in place should acting city manager leave DeKalb

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DeKalb interim City Manager Patty Hoppenstedt listens to DeKalb Human Resources Director Cris Randall speak during the Committee of the Whole meeting April 9 as the DeKalb City Council outlines plans in the search for the next city manager.[]

DeKALB – Mayor Jerry Smith knew Patty Hoppenstedt might not be around long when City Manager Anne Marie Gaura resigned in March, and Hoppenstedt became acting city manager.

Hoppenstedt said she informed the mayor and the City Council well before Gaura resigned that she was planning to relocate to Tennessee after her husband took a job there.

“I was flattered and honored that I would hold down the fort until a permanent selection is made,” Hoppenstedt said. “But I anticipate the search process will take longer than the process to move.”

Although this might create a void within the city manager’s office, Smith said he is confident things will run smoothly through the search process.

“If [a void in the city manager’s office] suggests that city hall will go to hell in a handbasket, I’d argue vigorously against that,” Smith said. “We will get an interim for an interim.”

Smith said the timeline is unclear, but said he is hopeful someone within city government or a local resident who can serve in an interim capacity until such time as a permanent city manager is hired.

Hoppenstedt said she has not formally resigned at this point and by informing the council of her relocation plans, the city has done a phenomenal job with contingency planning.

“City business will march on with or without me,” Hoppenstedt said.

Gaura resigned four months after the council narrowly had approved a new contract for her with an indefinite term.