St. Clair Shores City Council unanimously accepted the resignation of City Manager Ben Hughes on Thursday night.
The 7-0 vote came after a nearly 90-minute closed session, special meeting in City Hall. Under the terms of the vote, Hughes' resignation will be effective Friday and he will receive a severance package with six months health insurance and four months salary.
"Ben made a decision he was moving in a different direction," said city attorney Robert Ihrie. "I know I speak on behalf of the council that they wish him well on his future endeavours and thank him for his service to the city of St. Clair Shores."
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Hughes had been working on an expired contract since early October. He was hired on March 8, 2010, and made $115,000 annually, with $50,361 in fringes, according to the budget.
Hughes previously served 14 years in local government in New York and Wisconsin before coming to St. Clair Shores to replace retiring city manager Ken Podolski.
Mayor Kip Walby stated that Hughes had done "a fine job with the community." Walby cited that the or the 2011-2012 budget, but is now anticipating a $1.2 million surplus. He also cited developments on Hughes' watch, including the Maloof Family Pavilion and fitness center at Civic Arena.
"He has done a fine job. It is just he has chosen to go in a different direction," Walby said. "We wish him success as he goes in a different direction."
Assistant city manager Michael Smith will be the acting city manager as a search is conducted for a new city manager.
Walby stressed that members of the city of administration have been involved in many of the economic developments and other projects in the city.
"St. Clair Shores will continue to move forward," said Walby, who recognized the experienced staff still in place. "It has moved forward since 1951 and it will continue to move forward and we will make it better no matter who is the mayor, or who is the CDI (community development director) or who is the city manager. "
Hughes could not be reached for comment.