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Treasure Island manager sticks to resignation

By Times Staff Writer
Published May 12, 2004

TREASURE ISLAND - His resignation stands, City Manager Chuck Coward said Tuesday, rejecting pleas from city commissioners to stay that included promises of annual bonuses.

The commissioners offered Coward $8,000 in year-end annual bonuses if he would stay until the island's new bridge is finished.

But Coward said that was not the deal he had made privately with each commissioner. He wanted the bonus in June.

"I appreciate the gesture," Coward told the commission. "I've really labored over this situation and my duty to the community, but in the end, there's not a reasonable expectation of improved commissioner-manager relations."

Coward, 60, left Tuesday's commission meeting early after a standing ovation from the packed auditorium. Coward, the city manager since 1997, leaves June 2.

Coward's departure caps two years of political turmoil in the small beach city over beachfront development. Voters rejected new development rules that would have allowed more and taller buildings. The result is an almost complete overhaul of the City Commission. Two members have served just over a year, and two others were elected in March.

More than 50 people gathered outside City Hall before Tuesday's meeting, waving "Save Chuck" signs. Many said they were concerned about the future of the city's $65-million bridge project.

[Last modified May 12, 2004, 01:54:10]

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