NORTH OGDEN -- City Manager Ed Dickie is heading to Southern Utah to be the city manager of Santa Clara.
His last day here will be March 9.
Dickie's departure comes as no surprise to the city, as he has been looking into various positions for several months.
He was a finalist for a county manager position in Durango, Colo., in December and, at that time, said if something became available in Southern Utah, he would jump at it.
Dickie came from that part of the state when he accepted the North Ogden position, and he and his family have been eager to return there, he said.
Santa Clara is about half the size of North Ogden at approximately 8,000 residents.
Dickie will be making about the same salary starting out and then will make slightly more after July 1.
Dickie's current salary in North Ogden is $90,786.
In December, the position opened up. An interim manager for Santa Clara didn't work out, so Dickie applied.
"We lived there, our parents live there, and we call it home," Dickie said of the Southern Utah area. Santa Clara borders St. George and is one of the fastest-growing areas in the state.
The current state of North Ogden, with the upheaval over a proposed public works complex and a council of mostly new members, had little bearing on his decision, Dickie said.
"I would have considered it regardless," he said of the Southern Utah job.
He was quick to add that he has loved working with the employees of North Ogden.
"The employees are great."
He also has confidence in the new council. "They want to do what is best for the city," he said.
Mayor Richard Harris said while he isn't surprised that Dickie is leaving, he is saddened.
"Their gain is certainly our loss," Harris said Friday afternoon of Santa Clara. "We want what's best for Ed and his family, but we hate to see him go."
Dickie has been city manager in North Ogden for four years. When he took the job, he agreed to stay for three.
Dickie has always been upfront about starting to look for opportunities to further his career after the three years were up.
Although Harris hasn't talked directly with the council, he intends to start the search for a new city manager right away. The timing is a little difficult for the city, because it is just going into its budget session and has a budget retreat planned for the last week of February.
"If I have my way, it will be sooner rather than later," Harris said.
He would even like to find someone who could sit in on the budget retreat and get a feel for what is going on in the city.
Finance Director Debbie Cardenas is the assistant city manager and, if necessary, would fill in as the interim city manager until a replacement is found.
With North Ogden's form of government, this is one of the few times the mayor votes with the council to appoint the city manager, and the appointment is done in the form of an ordinance.