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Ventura city manager resigns after parting ways with council

August 30, 2012 | 11:17 am

Rick ColeRick Cole, Ventura's city manager since 2004, will leave his job Sept. 15 after parting ways with the City Council.

"I'm not leaving to spend more time with my family -- although I'm looking forward to that," he said on his blog. "I'm not leaving to 'pursue other opportunities,' although I'm excited about that too. I'm resigning because after eight-and-a-half years, the majority of the council believe it is a time for a change in leadership."

Cole came to Ventura after serving as city manager in Azusa and 12 years on Pasadena's City Council. He was Pasadena's mayor from 1992 to 1994.

In Cole's years as Ventura's top appointed official, the city undertook a number of controversial measures. Parking meters were installed downtown and a popular library branch was shut. Officials enforced building and safety codes more stringently, but Cole's critics said enforcement was arbitrary and unreasonable.

Cole also guided the city's government through the recession, eliminating nearly 100 city positions.

In a statement, Mayor Mike Tracy, the city's former police chief, praised Cole for "making the hard choices that have ensured that Ventura has lived within our means during tough economic times."

Cole offered to resign after receiving a negative performance review earlier this summer.

He said he plans to stay in Ventura. 


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--Steve Chawkins

Photo: Rick Cole. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times