Josh Dulaney, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 12/19/2011 01:55:21 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – City Manager Charles McNeely on Monday denied rumors swirling around City Hall that he will leave his post in January.

When reached by telephone and asked if he intends to step down, McNeely said, “At some point, yeah, but not now.”

McNeely’s contract is up in June.

Sources at City Hall said McNeely would announce his departure at the City Council meeting on Monday. McNeely said otherwise.

“I’m not making any announcement today, to start with,” McNeely said.

His contract called for a salary of $275,000 per year, minus a 10 percent giveback, with the deal reportedly including $73,000 in other perks, such as $15,000 in relocation assistance.

The Mayor’s Office on Monday said they had not heard anything from McNeely about him leaving.

“The imminency of his departure has not been a discussion with the mayor,” said Jim Morris, the son and chief of staff of Mayor Pat Morris.

Morris said the mayor and McNeely meet regularly and the matter has not been discussed.

McNeely took the position in the midst of what may be considered the toughest economy in the city’s recent history.

Indeed, cuts have been seen across all departments, including public safety. For example, the Police Department has seen its ranks reduced from more than 350 officers in recent years to fewer than 300 today.

Problems with potholes, street lights and other infrastructure issues have strained the already slim budget.

Still, McNeely has managed to push through some of his key projects, including SB Direct, a call center for city residents looking for help with non-emergency problems.

The City Manager’s Office estimates the annual cost to be roughly $477,000, with the funds coming from a reallocation of the city’s budget.

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