UPDATE: Pokorny says that despite budget challenges ahead, he believes that "overall things are going right" in Walnut Creek. In place, he says, is "the strongest management team I've ever worked with. The executive team is a dynamite team."
Pokorny says he just turned 68, and personally felt it was the right time to do other things. He hasn't set his exact departure date--late October or early November--and he has no big plans for what he'll do once he leaves the city, other than to go on a six-week vacation to New Zealand with his wife and friends.
Meanwhile, here is the letter he sent to city employees:
For the past ten years, I have had a series of challenging and interesting jobs in the City of Walnut Creek. It has been my pleasure to come to know you and to appreciate the unique contribution each of you makes toward building a community that is such a great place to work, live, and visit. You have made coming to work each morning something special that energizes and excites me.
It is, therefore, with very mixed feelings that I am writing to let you know that I will be retiring as City Manager of Walnut Creek late this year. I have shared this information with the City Council and they are beginning, immediately, a search and selection process for a new City Manager.
This is my 36th year in public management in four cities in three states. I can say with sincerity and honesty that being a part of the Walnut Creek team and community is the most satisfying job I have ever had.
In solid partnership with the community we have accomplished much over the years. We should all be proud of our accomplishments.
Significant challenges lie ahead in the current difficult economic environment. We are not unique or alone in facing these challenges. But, we are special in the way we deal with such situations. Based on our past track record, I am confident that the Walnut Creek team will meet these challenges with creativity, energy, and excellent results.
The support my family and I have had from thoughtful and caring City Council members, from hard-working, dedicated city staff members, and from hundreds of involved and supportive individuals and organizations in our community over the past decade has been gratifying. Thank you.
I trust that I will have time, between now and November, to thank each of you personally for your dedicated work and support. In the meanwhile, thanks for making me one very lucky and blessed person.
GaryAccording to the September/October 2006 issue of In the Nutshell, the city's newsletter, Pokorny was appointed interim city manager by the City Council following the resignation of Mike Parness on August 3, 2006.
Pokorney was previously city manager with El Cerrito (1989-2000), Corvallis, Oregan (1978-1988), and Sioux City, Iowa (1975-78). He has been with the city since 2000.
Pokorny is a native of Howells, Nebraska, and has bachelor’s and masters degrees from the University of Nebraska and additional graduate work in government and public administration in Ithaca, New York.