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Councilman Mark Lipsky resigns after town manager's contract is renewed


Tara Alatorre

CAVE CREEK – Cave Creek Councilmember Mark Lipsky resigned publicly on Monday, April 4, during the town council meeting, right after it narrowly approved the renewal of a one-year employment contract for town manager Peter Jankowski, in a 4-3 vote.

Cave Creek Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek says that she has received Lipsky’s resignation papers, but is waiting to hear from the town attorney on whether or not the town council has to approve his resignation at the regular meeting on April 18, 2016.

Vice Mayor Steve LaMar and council members Susan Clancy and Lipsky voted against renewing the contract, with mentions of tensions that arose during the earlier executive session regarding the particular topic. The approved employment contract with Jankowski will extend through June 30, 2017, including a three percent raise in his yearly salary, upping his salary from $134,685 to $138,725, and employer match contributions up to $25 a day, per pay period into a 457 retirement plan.

“The most consequential vote that this council could make was just made,” said Lipsky immediately following the approval of the contract at the April 4 meeting. “I think personally that this town manager, while perhaps well-meaning has proven to be not up to the job, not competent for the job, lacking leadership abilities, and basically an anchor on the staff as well as the town.” 

Mayor Vincent Francia tried stopping Lipsky’s comments directed at Jankowski, saying he should have voiced these types of comments during the earlier executive session, with the other council members becoming visibly uncomfortable with the comments.

Then Lipsky continued shocking the council and residents when he publically announced his resignation: “Based on that vote, I’m going to resign my seat, and I will give you a couple of weeks to replace me, and be available to you during that period of time, but this is an outrageous vote, and represents an incredible disservice to the town!” Lipsky said.

Vice Mayor LaMar urged the council to move the meeting forward, which they did uncomfortably, finishing out the meeting with Councilman Lipsky and Town Manager Jankowski staying calm until the meeting adjourned.

The town manager’s office was not available for comment regarding Lipsky’s comments or resignation.  However, since this is an election year, Cave Creek residents would be voting for council members this August, despite Lipsky’s resignation.