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Epp tapped as interim city manager

ESCONDIDO — The city attorney will take on city manager duties effective March 9, according to the city.

During its closed session Wednesday, the City Council received current City Manager Graham Mitchell’s resignation. Mitchell’s final day will follow the March 8 council meeting.

City Attorney Jeffery Epp was tapped to fill the interim void as the recruitment process continues.

Assistant City Attorney Michael McGuiness will serve as interim city attorney.

Initially, Mitchell submitted his resignation on Oct 21, 2016, and his final day was supposed to be on Dec. 31, 2016.

However, the council asked Mitchell to remain on board until March to give time to the city’s search firm more time to conduct interviews and recommend a replacement.

Prior to his work in Escondido, he was city manager in Lemon Grove for 12 years and Farmersville for three. Mitchell was the assistant city manager in Escondido from June to December 2015.

In a statement to Mayor Sam Abed and the council in October, Mitchell said after “serious reflection and for personal reasons,” he is stepping down from the position. He was named city manager in December 2015 after Clay Phillips retired from the job.

“I believed that I had opportunities to build better relationships between the city and the development community, engaged staff in preparing the first phase of streamlined measures to assist businesses and new development, participated in the visioning of a potential new library and expanded Grape Day Park, and led an organization that generated a General Plan budget surplus of $1.8 million last fiscal year,” Mitchell’s resignation                                   letter read.