Collegedale city manager resigns after calls for his firing or resignation

Staff Photo by Matt Fields-Johnson/ Ted Rogers poses for a picture in 2009. Rogers resigned from his 15-year post as Collegedale's city manager on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021.

Collegedale City Manager Ted Rogers on Monday said he would step down, but he said it was not in response to calls for his firing or resignation that took place just last week.

Rogers, who has served in the job for the last 15 years, announced at the end of a commission workshop his intention to retire on March 12.

In a written statement, which he also read aloud before adjourning the meeting, he addressed what he called "untruthful allegations spoken against me."

Part of the letter reads as follows:

"Due to the fact that I am eligible to retire, I simply now desire to do so. This is my voluntary decision, and no one else's. I am quite ready and want to turn the page of this chapter in my career and personal service for the greater good.

"While I am indeed disappointed in the many, untruthful allegations spoken against me, I choose, as I always have, to travel the high road, where there is never a traffic jam."

Last week, Commissioner Ethan White made a motion to fire Rogers, citing a lack of communication about a new park partnership between Collegedale and McKee Foods as well as the firing of the city's parks and recreation director, Traci Bennett-Hobek. That motion and a separate one from Vice Mayor Tim Johnson to ask for Rogers's resignation both failed.

During the meeting on Feb. 15, White mentioned an email sent by Bennett-Hobek that alleged multiple instances of being yelled at and questioned by Rogers. White also questioned why Bennett-Hobek's firing for "a pattern of conduct unbecoming of an employee and manager" was so swift while the city's police chief remains on paid administrative leave weeks after a questionable pursuit and crash.

"It is my opinion that City Manager Rogers has shown he is incompetent in his role as city manager, and I have lost full confidence in his decision-making and his ability to carry out the will of this board," White said.

At least one other commissioner and Mayor Katie Lamb said because many may not know the full story and extenuating circumstances surrounding the firing, the incident with Bennett-Hobek should be separate from any call for Rogers to be removed from city leadership.

[READ MORE: Collegedale fires parks and recreation director for pattern of 'unbecoming' conduct]

Rogers did acknowledge that he could have done a better job communicating about the park project, but said that he and his staff were working hard to navigate the ever-changing details and specifics of the partnership while advocating for the best interests of the city and its residents.

Rogers concluded his resignation letter by saying that "the current administrative team in place is most capable" and that "as city manager, I have fond memories of leading and managing this team and the many necessary processes. This city is a stark contrast, much better off today than when I was appointed in 2006."

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