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Peekskill Accepts City Manager's Resignation

PEEKSKILL, NY -- The Common Council voted to accept the resignation of city manager Rick Finn Monday night in a brief special meeting held during their weekly work session.

Since Mayor Mary Foster announced Finn had submitted his resignation Saturday morning in a statement sent out to the media on behalf of the entire council, the move was simply a formality for the record.

"As we've all had our separate discussions with the city manager, he has told us for personal reasons he needs to resign," explained Foster to those on hand.

Foster thanked Finn for his service to the city in the roughly two and a half years and Finn thanked them in return.

Finn said earlier Monday that the resignation was due to personal matters and said he was in a difficult position since his wife lived several hours away in upstate New York. The city charter requires the city manager to live within city limits.

"I've been talking to several members of the council and this was a mutual decision," Finn said.

Finn said he has given 30 days notice to the council so he will still be on the staff in some capacity until the end of the month, but will likely be using up vacation time he has accrued.

Deputy Mayor Don Bennett said he believed there had been a "difference in opinion and style" between the council and Finn in recent months, and said he hoped the next city manager might be able to help the city make the transition to the regional arts destination the council has focused on making it in recent years.

"Peekskill is small city with big city problems" Bennett said. "We need someone with foresight to bring this city forward."

Finn had a number of skeptics in the city before he had even begun the job, who cited his mixed reviews from residents in previous towns he had worked and a history of leaving similar positions under vague circumstances.

City business owner Patty Villanova, who worked with Finn while serving as chairman of the city's Business Improvement District, said she was one of those skeptics due to things she had read online about Finn and said she was not happy with his work.

"I still can't believe they hired him in the first place," Villanova said. "He didn't exactly get stellar reviews from places he had been."

The city has not yet announced who will act as city manager when Finn leaves. Peekskill plans to utilize the services of a search firm to find his replacement, according to the mayor.

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