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Sorry to see city manager leave

Letter to Editor
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I was saddened – but not surprised – to learn Joan Phillipe is leaving Colfax as city manager. As a reporter who formerly covered Colfax city government for the last year, I had the opportunity to watch Joan in action. She was a thoroughly professional and competent city manager, a true asset to the community. I’ve covered government from the lowliest school boards and water districts to the city councils of Colfax and Auburn to the Placer County Board of Supervisors to the California State Legislature and various state agencies. Rarely have I encountered such a dedicated and professional civil servant. It was her experience and skill in negotiating with the state water board that arguably saved the city from defaulting on nearly $20 million in loans and grants necessary to get the city’s wastewater treatment plant built and online. And as council member Josh Alpine once observed, she was worth the money she was paid, because she brought in $20 in loans and grants for every dollar the city paid her. In addition to my respect for her ability and accomplishments as city manager, I had to admire Joan’s capacity to carry on in the face of personal attacks on her integrity and competency by hopelessly ignorant and mean-spirited people who had absolutely no concept of what it takes to do her job or how good she is at it. She never lost her cool; she just hung in there and did her job. She showed true courage and class under fire. Joan is leaving the city in better shape than she found it. She successfully steered the city through a multimillion-dollar crisis – and, folks, you’re going to miss her when she’s gone. Tom Durkin, Nevada City