Following the announcement of City Manager Penny Culbreth-Graft's resignation, City Council has chosen Colorado Springs Fire Chief Steve Cox to serve as interim city manager.
"I was asked by Council if I would take this position for the interim basis, and not being one to say no to a challenge, I agreed to do that," Cox said this morning. "And really, I think, we all have a take a role in the success of the city, and maybe I can play a role in making it successful."
City Councilor Randy Purvis says Cox is the right person for the job for several reasons.
"One, coming out of the fire department it's much easier to promote someone from a deputy chief to a commanding chief ... [because] it's a much deeper organization structurally," he says. "Two, Steve Cox has been around the community a long time, so he knows the city. Three, he did a spin as the interim assistant city manager a while ago."
Purvis adds, "He's always been very positive in terms of his attitude."
No search for a permanent replacement will be conducted until after the April 2011 city election because voters may choose to change the Springs' structure of government to a "strong mayor" system, in which case the city manager position would be eliminated. Purvis also notes that there could be six or seven new Councilors elected within the next year, and they may want to pick their own administrator.
Purvis says he expects that Culbreth-Graft will work to ease Cox's transition onto the job in the remaining weeks of her employment.
Cox plans to announce his interim replacement as fire chief later today.
Cox is a long-time employee of the city, and was named fire chief in 2008, after briefly serving as interim assistant city manager.