The City of Lethbridge announced the resignation of city manager Craig Dalton on Tuesday, citing a “new opportunity” as the reason for his departure.
Dalton said he couldn’t elaborate on why he’s leaving or what the new opportunity is, but doing so has left him with “mixed emotions.”
“It’s simply a life decision, those decisions that we all make from time to time,” he said.
Dalton was Lethbridge’s third city manager in the span of less than four years.
Bramwell Strain took the position in August 2018 but resigned less than a year-and-a-half later. In the interim, between Strain’s departure and the addition of Dalton in May 2020, Jody Meli served in that position temporarily.
Mayor Blaine Hyggen said retention in the last few years has been a “challenge,” but he is confident the city will find the right fit as council begins planning to hire a new city manager.
He commended Dalton’s ability to lead during the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We respect those decisions,” Hyggen said on Wednesday. “At the end of the day, the city manager is but one position in the organization. We’ve got an extremely competent senior management team.
“It’s something we would (probably) as council want to have longer term, but you know what? Having new blood isn’t always a terrible thing — it brings different, fresh ideas.”
Dalton’s final day has not yet been determined, but is anticipated for March to allow a smooth transition for the new hire.
“I’m very grateful for having had the opportunity to be part of this organization, to meet and work with some outstanding people,” Dalton said.