Ungricht steps down as acting manager

Terry Ungricht resigned Wednesday.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
Terry Ungricht resigned Wednesday.

FALLS CITY — For three years, Falls City acting City Manager Terry Ungricht has filled the administrative role for free.

Wednesday (today), Ungricht will officially resign from that position, about four months after resigning as the city’s mayor.

“It’s been a real honor serving everyone,” Ungricht said.

Over the past few months, Ungricht has been slowly training and passing work onto other city staff to “phase out” of the job.

He said he’ll stick around long enough to finish a few tasks.

“My resignation is effective on Feb. 28, but I’m going to keep taking on the budget, paying the bills and writing this next year’s budget for them,” Ungricht said. “And then just, you know, help where I can, where they need me.”

He said after three years of volunteering in a job, he needs some time away,

“I’ve only had, like, three weeks out of town. I want to spend a little more time with my wife and go fishing,” he said. “I’ll be taking more time off, I’ll tell you that. I’ll get my garden planted again.”

Now the Falls City City Council has the challenge of filling the void left by Ungricht’s departure.

Working unpaid, Ungricht saved the city between $80,000 and $100,000 per year. Ungricht said the council could promote from current city staff or post the position and evaluate applicants.

The council discussed its options in executive session in February and will continue that discussion at its March 9 meeting, also in executive session, Ungricht said.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a bit of a transition, but it’s going to be up to them,” he said.

Ungricht said the city is in a good position, but hopes the council and next administrator will keep the focus on improvements to the city’s streets, sewer and water system. He said the city needs to pursue a Community Development Block Grant for sewer upgrades and stick to plans in the recently approved water master plan.

“That’s my biggest concern,” he said. “We’ve got our fire department up and running again. We’ve got our certification. It’s not totally signed off by DPSST (Department of Public Safety Standards and Training), but it’s in the process. We have a doctor, so we can do medical calls again, so that fire has been semi tapped down. I think everything else is pretty much online.”

He will be at the next council meeting on March 8 to update the council on projects he’s finishing and be appointed as the city’s budget officer. This time his perspective will be different.

“I think I will be sitting in the audience,” he said.

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