City council accepts Patrick’s resignation Monday

City council accepts Patrick's resignation Monday Monday marked the first meeting of the Vermillion City Council in the Al Neuharth Media Center on the University of South Dakota campus. The ground-floor meeting room is handicapped-accessible, and viewers at home noticed improved sound and picture quality of the meeting's broadcast on cable channel 3, thanks to updated audio and video equipment. The media center will be the temporary home of regular city council meetings through May 2005. by David Lias It's official.

City Manager Jim Patrick will soon be leaving Vermillion for a new job as city manager of Kalispell, MT.

He informed the Vermillion City Council by letter that his last day of employment here will be Oct. 27.

The council accepted his resignation at its meeting Monday night.

"I do want to thank council for the privilege and honor of being your city manager for the last several years," he said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed your support, your understanding at times, and your big boot in the rear when I needed it. I really appreciate your support and your willingness to lead this city.

"A lot of times, when you go to different cities, you find councils that don't have a heart for their community, and I haven't found that here," Patrick said. "Both this council as well as the councils I've served in the past here in Vermillion ? I can honestly say your heart has been with the city, your best intentions were for the growth and development of the city, and in a professional manager's heart, that goes a long way.

"I appreciate the opportunity that you have given to me these past couple of years, and I'll never forget you, and I hope you'll never forget me," he said.

"It is with regret that I listen to this, but I appreciate Jim's and his family's decision to move on," said Lisa Ketcham, executive director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce/Development Company. "I want to publicly thank him for all of his contributions. It has been a partnership, and I hope that partnership continues and we wish you the best."

"I think we have no choice but to approve this," said Alderman Mary Edelen after a motion was made to accept Patrick's resignation. "But we all do this very reluctantly, Jim. I've only been on the city council since July, but I've really appreciated your leadership as our city manager.

"You've taken us places we didn't know we could go ? you've been our leader, you've gone to all the meetings that no one else really wanted to go to," she said, "and you encouraged businesses to come to Vermillion and look at us in a new and exciting way, and for that we thank you."

"Technically, I think you are probably one of the best people I've ever run across as far as knowing how to keep us on track," Mayor Dan Christopherson told Patrick. "We're going to miss that expertise a bunch."

Patrick, who has served as Vermillion's city manager for the past two years, was selected in mid-September among a field of four finalists to be the new city manager of Kalispell.

"It's more of a quality of life issue," he told the Plain Talk last month. "I need to think about my family � what's best for my family."

Kalispell, Patrick told the Plain Talk in September, offers a great quality of life.

"Everything I've seen about the schools and community and council � they're interested in me because of growth issues there," he said.

Kalispell's growth currently is far overwhelming Vermillion's 2.4 percent population increase between 1990 and 2000.

Kalispell grew by 19.4 percent or 2,306 people during that same time frame.

The Vermillion City Council will use a citizen's committee to help find a Patrick's replacement.

Citizens who are interested in serving on the city manager search committee may write the city council at 25 Center Street, Vermillion, SD 57069. They may also e-mail the council at vermillion@iw.net on or before Oct. 15.

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