Will go back to where he came from – Webster City, Iowa
City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez presented his resignation to the City Council Tuesday night.
He is expected to begin duties as city manager of Webster City, Iowa -- a city of about 8,500 where is he held the same post from 2016 to 2018 -- at the end of July, according to a press release posted by that city.
Wasco city officials would not comment on the resignation, but aside from an email from Mayor Alex Garcia, it was obvious they were surprised coming out of the executive session where it was discussed -- but "no reportable action" was taken.
"Tonight, the City Manager [Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez] informed Mayor Alex Garcia and the city council members that he will be leaving the
city," Mayor Alex Garcia said in the email. "I am always sad to see our staff leave Wasco. I am grateful for Daniel's dedication and tireless commitment to our city over the years and wish him the best in his professional endeavors."
Garcia added that he "affirms that community goals and other urgent pursuits such as the selection of the city manager's replacement will remain a top priority at city hall."
He said the city manager and council "are prepared for a seamless transition and look forward to finding the best fit for the community in the coming months."
Ortiz-Hernandez had relocated to California to be closer to family. Daniel and his wife, Rachel, had two young children, ages 1 and 2 at the time. The Webster City posting said that after Daniel and Rachel each lost a grandparent "they wanted to provide an opportunity for the children to spend time with their grandparents and relatives during their early childhood years."
Webster City, in the same posting, said the city had been looking for a new city manager since December, but that search had been "unsuccessful." Competition for a qualified replacement was difficult, with "the fact that there are several communities in Iowa and the Midwest searching for a City Manager at this time the City decided to take a break before starting the search again."
Apparently the city and the city manager have a deal to keep the reasons behind the move tight-lipped, though his new employer was a little more forthcoming.
"Mr. Ortiz-Hernandez will not be making any further verbal or written statements about his departure," Garcia said in his email.
The Webster City posting noted that "when Daniel and his family desired to return to the Midwest, communication was initiated regarding the possibility of him returning to the position."