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Gainesville City Manager Blackburn Resigns

Russ Blackburn
Russ Blackburn

City Manager Russ Blackburn announced his resignation Thursday at the Gainesville City Commission meeting.

Blackburn has served as manager since September 2005. He offered Thursday a 60-day transition plan while the commission worked to find a new city manager.

"I don't know that there's a smooth way to do these kind of transitions," Blackburn said, noting that he had begun to feel ineffective due to continued disagreement among the mayor and city commissioners. "I would ask you not to have a lot of debate... I want at this point to make a transition."

In 2013, Blackburn won the 2013 Home Rule HERO award from the Florida League of Cities, an organization that promotes local government.

Scott Dudley, director of legislative affairs for the organization, has known Blackburn for over a decade. He said Blackburn is a dedicated public servant.

“He understands that local rule -- home rule -- is vital,” he said.

In May, Blackburn proposed an ordinance making sleeping on public property illegal, which would have impacted the city’s homeless population. The commission set aside the issue later that month.

Blackburn made about $175,000 a year, according to City of Gainesville's Human Resources Department database.

Blackburn previously served as Martin County administrator.


Ariella is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.