High Level Commerce City Staff Taking Their Talent Elsewhere

On Wednesday, November 17, 2010, the Gateway News was informed by an anonymous source that Commerce City Deputy City Manager Nanette Neelan was leaving the city for a position with the city of Lakewood, Colorado. We attempted to get verification from Commerce City the entire day and the day ended with no official response from Commerce City.

We then made a public information request to the city of Lakewood via their public information officer and did receive an official response (see below) verifying that Nanette Neelan is being hired for the Lakewood Deputy City Manager position. Hence, Neelan will be leaving Commerce City.

We want to take this opportunity to remind our readers that we are here to report the news, not wait until it is convenient for the City of Commerce City to respond. The current city council had made “communication” as one of their three top priorities when they set their council goals.

When we received the anonymous tip, we waited to report until this could be verified as fact. The other part of the email that was reported to the Gateway News included alleged attempts by City Manager Gerald Flannery to seek employment elsewhere. We have not been able to verify this yet, but wanted to report what else was said in the email. We would hope that the City of Commerce City would respond and either deny or confirm the information about Flannery seeking other employment, as he owes the citizens of the city over $450,000 for the house he is currently living in located in the Reunion area.

It is also vital to the taxpayers to know how their tax dollars are being spent on trips to China and Germany for professional development and relationship building and now will possibly benefit other cities.

Email correspondence from Gateway News and City of Lakewood:

Gateway News:
Hello,
We are attempting to verify some information that was posted on our blog on our website. It was reported that our Deputy City Manager Nanette Neelan has accepted a position with the City of Lakewood and is leaving Commerce City . Can you verify or deny?
Thank you very much,
Kathy McIntyre, Editor
Gateway News

City of Lakewood:

I apologize for my late response on this, but I have been out of the office this morning. Yes, we are finalizing the agreement with Nanette Neelan for her to serve as Lakewood ’s deputy city manager.
Stacie Oulton
Public Information Officer
City of Lakewood

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

This week School District 27J Superintendent announced his intention to resign from his position at the end of the 2011/2012 school year. He wants a smooth transition because he cares about the school district and the taxpayers and the students. He knows he is needed and does a good job. Looks like Nanette Neelan wasn't really ever worth having in Commerce City because clearly she doesn't care what happens to the city or the taxpayers of the staff. She just must not be that important if no one even cares if she is leaving. Wow!

Anonymous said...

Original Rumor

One less deputy city manager this morning. First Flannery has been putting in applications and now Neland is gone. Wonder what the message is???

First part is a little more dramatic. Second part was true, so maybe the first part is too?

Anonymous said...

problem with Neelan leaving is that she did ALL the work for the city manager, guess Flannery will have to hire someone right away or work himself which he would never do. bigger story is if Flannery is looking for another job, what the hell happens with the house? guess the taxpayers are out half a million dollars, and way more than that.

Pro City 2.0 said...

Not a big deal, I wish NN good luck in Lakewood if she can get the final details worked out.

Wes, northern range said...

So what happens to all of that Chinese Relationship Building?

Close to the situation said...

Let the CC SPIN Begin: This is Not a big deal! People leave their jobs for better opportunities all of the time.

What concerns me is the question of if Commerce City staff is actively looking for jobs while working at Commerce City.

That is why I support the Strong Mayor city format.

Supporter of NN! said...

GOOD FOR N. NEELAN! Great Opportunity!

Anonymous said...

Gateway: Did the City of Commerce City confirm or reply to the Neelan issue?

Just One Opinion said...

why is this such a big deal? I dont think City Manager is going anywhere. If you think he is looking for a different job, I think we all are open to new opportunities.

Not a big deal to me.

Anonymous said...

dusty, don't think this is a real story, YES it is news, but I think you could have just put it on your twitter. A whole opinion section is OVER KILL.

Team NANE said...

City is losing a GREAT employee. NN is one of the brighter ones in city hall. It is sad that she is leaving, but I am happy for her and her family.

also Close to the Situation said...

I love that the Gateway Had to go to a different city to get verification.

I guess this story did not fit into the positive cc spin machine.

Look for council spin to say the following:

Deputy City Manager is a Wonderful Employee and we are going to miss her talents very much and we are all excited for her.

Why do we have director types leaving our city so often. I can think of 3 so far. One, the last comm. dir. was immediate?

Anonymous said...

GOD DAMN! I HOPE C TOWN CAN HOLD ON TO MORRIS. WE LOSE HER THEN WE WILL BE IN THE HURT BAG!

Anonymous said...

Like others who have made comments, I think this is not such a big deal.
Average city manager stays for only about 5 years.

Sammy, Commerce City said...

average tenure of a city manager is 6.9 years

Thad said...

does this have anything to do with walmart coming? if not then I dont care.

Anonymous said...

Neelan never applied for the job in Commerce City before she was given the job. She was on an interview panel that interviewed the applicants for the position. Not saying that she did a bad job, but had linited loyalty from the get go.

Anonymous said...

of course Flannery is looking. Do you think he will be kept when a new council is in place? With the way he had misappropriated city/citizen money?

Anonymous said...

Britany Morris is on Hickenlooper's transition team. Do you think she is going to stay in CC?

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Anybody who knows anything about how cities function knows that ANY time a city manager or deputy city managers are out looking for other jobs, things are shaking up. Anytime one leaves it is ALWAYS a big deal. No matter what the reason and especially after huge salaries and perks are designed to keep them. This is a big story.Whose fooling who here?

Anonymous said...

Employee retention used to be the the poster child of the good policies of Commerce City.

Anonymous said...

This story was over sensationalized: people change jobs often for more attractive offers. In these times of financial instability, employer and employee loyalty is a thing of the past

Anonymous said...

B Morris is on the Hick team as a volunteer type not a full time position.

Estelle Remington said...

No one wants to work on a sinking ship. All anyone had to do was look at the unhappiness all over Neelan's face to see what a tough situation she was in. She can now get her life back on track. We all wish her the best in her new job. If, Flannery is looking for other employment, hopefully he'll find a far better place to live, soon. But, CC will be out $72,000 in Bonus money and about $150,000 in free rent. Since, the house is in Flannery's name, we may lose that $450,000 as well. When all this dust settles, we need to make sure this never happens again. Thank you, Gateway News for keeping us all informed. I agree, we need a strong Mayor format of City Government. That is where both the Mayor and City Manager share running the city. If, one or the other goes, there is at least one to take over. As one can see, we can not count on the Deputy City Managers to keep us afloat.

THE OLD GUARD said...

Is it not a big deal that we have BIG HOLES in our city organization structure that was created by our golden boy jerry?

Anonymous said...

If you talk about something enough.
If you blow it up to make it bigger than it is, often enough.
If you put a negative spin on things, often enough.
Yes people will believe it.
I too think too much has been made of this.
People need to see that we must have quailified people if other cities are wanting them (not the unqualified some on this blog have implyed).
Job opportunities with more money or closer to home would look good
to me as well.(who wouldn't consider them)
If we lose Morris, I would imagine it would be to a much better position.
As far as Flannery, my God with the criticism he has faced, of course he would look for new employment!!

Anonymous said...

not really flannerys fault, city council gave him the phantom 72 grand and unreal house deal. If I was flannery I would have taken the deal.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame for Flannery for job hunting but do blame him and members of city council for the circus and the reinforcement of CC as a nonethical low level city in Adams County. If Flannery was a stand up man, he would have returned the $72000 after making his profit in AZ. If council was a standup council, they would have handled the situation instead of hiding behind the legal stuff. No accountabilty on either side. Why would businesses want to make deals with us- we have shown that there are no ethics or accountability here. Message received.

Wes, northern range said...

A difference between what he CAN do and what he SHOULD do.

I agree.

Rogue said...

hate to open a can of worms, but Dusty, can you start a section on what people think of merging Brighton and Commerce City?

I have some ideas about it and I am wondering what others think.

Anonymous said...

Rogue: very interesting, has this been a discussion I've been missing?

I bet this would open a lot of eyes in the state and lead to some major competition with neighboring areas.

C_City Voter

Very CLOSE to the situation said...

Oh God, here we go again. Dusty, do you a favor and don’t touch this subject with a 10 foot pole!

Anonymous said...

I agree Dustie, this merging idea has been played out too many times.
Please don't start it up again. Unless you want to continue the split in the city.

Anonymous said...

The city has already split.
Non hispanic ward 1 voters refused to vote for candidates who decided to purchase homes and live in the north. They lost the election to children of mexicans born on US property decided to vote for someone who they felt will fight to keep their friends and family from being deported and now they're fighting for control. Just wait for the recall.
Wards 2 & 3 are unhappy with the do nothing city council because of inaction on every issue.
Industry sees the rift and won't trust investing in the city because the northern enclave may decide to annex into Denver or Brighton.

And yes! Denver gets more revenue from the Rapids and the stadium than CC.

Yes! it's ugly but true

Lori, Commerce City said...

Neelan is going to go nuts in Lakewood. They have ll kinds of businesses popping up. It is going to be a whole new world for her.

So is she going to be replaced?

If so, someone internally? Clemmins? or maybe another outsider.

I got an idea, maybe we should hire someone with actually city managing skills instead of some half baked "I need to fly to another country to get professional development" lobbyist!

DeeDee said...

why is going to Lakewood as a city manager a move up from a deputy city manager at commerce city?

In the Know said...

We should consider the worst case scenario.

If NN goes to Lakewood and they need a good ED person, what makes you think that she will not try and recruit CC's BM?

And with that maybe the MHMF goes to Jeffco.

OMG!

Belle Creek Observer said...

I wish Neelan all the best in Lakewood.

Wes, northern range said...

DAMN now that would be a worst case scenario!

Anonymous said...

My what a great,great city we could have if all of you who spout such inside wisdom, actually came to meetings, got involved in a real way (not bitchy bloging).
You might even find out that some of your assumtions are dead wrong.
But, no doubt I am wrong, you all know soooooo much!

Anonymous said...

Great staff members take their talent elsewhere all the time. It's a way of life. Mayor Hickenlooper had FOUR chiefs of staffs during his tenure in Denver. Congrats to Neelan. I am sure Commerce City will find a more than capable replacement, but she will definitely be missed.

Team NANE said...

Come on Neelan, Keep you talents here. Dont leave us with these morons.

Joe said...

Maybe Neelan is feeling like all the other city employees -- under-appreciated and always blamed. The mayor and city manager like to say "what a great staff we have," but continue to hire from outside the city instead of promoting from within -- and they continue to use consultants. Why? Nobody at the city knows anything? No wonder the employees want a union. Especially those in Parks and Recreation, where I understand the manager hires people based on her husband's say-so (he works at Boys and Girls Club). Longtime employees hours have been cut so that her husband's friends can have a job. Maybe the Gateway can get to the bottom of it.

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