Casper's city manager retired two months earlier than expected.
News 13's Tyler Waggenspack reports V.H. McDonald officially retired
Monday after sending council members a letter of resignation.
City council members gather at tonight's (Tuesday) meeting and discussed V.H. McDonald's retirement. They approved his retirement on their agenda, and council member say they weren't surprised.
"Yes and no. I mean that I think that it's an opportunity…he saw an opportunity, his retirement had come up in February for his eligibility," said Ray Pacheco, Casper city council vice president.
McDonald served as city manager since November 2015. He was known for balancing the city's budget during economic downturns. Although his retirement announcement came two days after the Fraternal Order of Police survey, council members say it wasn't coincidence.
"You know it was V.H.’s decision to make that hard choice to retire. He wanted to take this opportunity I think to say 'okay look, it's an opportunity to help the city kind of move forward.’"
Councilman Bob Hopkins also agrees.
"I think it's unfortunate what happened, but it's not V.H’s doing. I support V.H. and I like to have him as our city manager."
Councilman Shawn Johnson also supports McDonald's decision, despite Johnson’s email sent last week. The email cited city management's failure to address problems within the Casper Police Department.
"I do stand by that criticism. I do think there was a lack of leadership on his part, but that's nothing personal towards him as a person. I think that he's a smart guy, a good guy."
And city council remains optimistic during tough times.
"Certainly know that the last few weeks have been a tumultuous time, but that we continue to remain positive and work hard."
Liz Becher has been appointed interim city manager until they find McDonald's replacement. Council members say they haven't started that process yet.
We also reached out to McDonald for comments, but we didn't hear back from him
Council members are also looking to fill Todd Murphey's vacant spot.
He resigned nearly two weeks ago.