Chief of Staff/Chief Administrative Officer Laura Neumann has resigned her position with the City of Colorado Springs, effective March 1.
She will be replaced by her predecessor Steve Cox. Cox retired in 2012 after serving as Fire Chief, interim city manager, Chief of Staff and Chief of Economic Vitality. He originally began his career with the Colorado Springs Fire Department thirty-three years ago.
Neumann’s decision to quit apparently surprised top city officials.
“Laura’s decision is a huge blow to our ability to move the city forward,” said Mayor Steve Bach in a message to the Business Journal.
“It’s the second high-level departure following Chris Melcher’s resignation. We’ve lost great talent and accomplishment in these two outstanding professionals. Thankfully, Steve Cox has answered the call yet again to help lead our city. He will bring stability and positive leadership to the executive branch,” Bach said.
Councilor Jill Gaebler was dismayed by Neumann’s departure.
“Laura’s the glue that holds us all together,” she said. “She is a collaborative, thoughtful individual. We as a Council need someone like her to represent the administration. I don’t know Steve Cox, but I know that Laura will be difficult to replace. She’s a very smart lady, and I suspect she’ll be moving into a much bigger job, if that’s what she wants.”
Neumann was recruited from her early retirement from the hospitality sector specifically with the mission of attracting and retaining top executives while heightening and delivering consistent quality core services to the community. Bach said she partnered with him, “developing strategies to make the City of Colorado Springs the most business- and citizen-friendly city in the nation.”
Bach also praised Neumann for her role in “balancing the the City’s near $400M budget and achieving the highest fund reserve in the history of the City.”
In addition, she was credited with achieving the reinstatement of key citizen services–including heightened public safety, enhanced transit service, improved infrastructure, greater citizen access to City services and information through mobile-enabled technologies.
Six months into her assignment, she led City operations and policy-making in the Emergency Operations Center during the Waldo Canyon Fire.
In resigning, Neumann cited her desire to spend more time with her family.