St. Cloud city manager might resign, mayor says

The mayor of St. Cloud announced last week that City Manager Bill Sturgeon is likely to resign from his position.

If he does, this would be the third St. Cloud city manager to vacate the role in five years.

Bill Sturgeon has been in his position for less than two years, after City Council unanimously approved him for the job in October 2017. He acted as interim director three months prior to his official appointment.

Before serving as city manager, Sturgeon was the St. Cloud Fire Chief from 2013 to 2017. He was previously employed with the Orange County Fire Department for 24 years.

A City Manager is appointed by the City Council and is the chief administrative officer of the municipality. He is responsible to the City Council and oversees 500 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees along with an annual operating and capital budget of more than $142 million.

Mayor Nathan Blackwell announced Sturgeon’s possible resignation at an April 25 City Council meeting. He said Sturgeon is under consideration for a public safety position with Osceola County government.

“If he’s not selected, he’s also indicated that he will pursue other job opportunities in public safety,” Blackwell said.

The mayor suggested that Sturgeon’s replacement be discussed at a workshop meeting as soon as possible.

Council Member Linette Matheny said Sturgeon had indicated he might leave as soon as mid-June.

Planning and Zoning Director Andre Anderson filled in for Sturgeon at the meeting.  

Blackwell expressed sadness at Sturgeon’s likely departure.

“I am incredibly disappointed,” he said. “I do not want to see him leave. I think he’s done an excellent job.”

Councilman Keith Trace echoed the sentiment, noting staffers in other key leadership positions in St. Cloud are set to retire in upcoming months and years.

A workshop meeting to discuss Sturgeon’s resignation and replacement was held Wednesday.

Council members discussed hiring an outside firm, often called a “headhunting” agency, to try and locate a new city manager.

According to officials at the city, Sturgeon has not yet officially resigned, but only expressed interest in doing so.