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Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Jeff Hazel resigns

By William Kincaid
Celina Safety Service Director Jeff Hazel resigned from his city job early Friday morning, Celina Mayor Sharon LaRue confirmed to the newspaper on Friday afternoon.
Hazel submitted his resignation to the mayor in her office at around 7:15 a.m. Friday, she said.
"As a result of my desire to return to my private business interests, I believe it is now time to separate my employment with the City of Celina," Hazel wrote in his resignation letter, according to LaRue.
Hazel said he wanted to focus exclusively on his business, EMC Solutions, a manufacturer of overhead conveyor systems located at 302 South Ash St., Celina.
"It just makes sense to do it now," resigning before a series of heavy construction projects begin in Celina, he said.
Hazel said he and his wife Patty purchased EMC Solutions - which has been in operation since 1957 - from his father-in-law three years ago before taking over the building a year-and-a-half ago.
"I have no plans to move on (from Celina) - it's kind of tough when you have a business," Hazel said. He will continue living in Celina.
Hazel said he moved to Celina from Indianapolis, Ind., in 1996 before becoming the Celina director of administrative services in June 2003.
In October 2004, Hazel was appointed as safety service director by LaRue, who has the power to the fill the position at her discretion, she told the newspaper.
"It's been a tremendous experience and I've had a lot of fun with it," Hazel said about his time with Celina. "I think this administration has made significant strides in progress, and I'm proud that I've been apart of it."
Prior to the morning transactions, LaRue said she did not know Hazel intended to leave.
"This was the first time I heard that he was planning on leaving," LaRue said. "Jeff did his job very very well. I think he was disappointed to leave the city, but ultimately that was his choice."
Hazel's resignation became effectively immediately, LaRue said.
Asked if a meeting was held this morning, LaRue said no and said Hazel simply handed his resignation letter around 7:15 a.m.
Celina Councilman Rick Bachelor told the newspaper he was a bit shocked by the resignation. It is unfortunate as the city is in the middle of much activity now, he said.
"It's going to be a tough position to fill because of the spread of activities and the utilities and the day-to-day business," he said.
The newspaper was unable to contact any other council members for their thoughts.
LaRue said she will begin sending out ads online and to various newspapers next week about the open position of safety service director.
The successful candidate is to be knowledgeable about government, public administration, labor relations, budgets, grants and public relations.
They also must be able to define problems and collect data, she said.
"Jeff is highly intelligent. He had a lot of knowledge of our utility departments. He was just a good, well-rounded employee," LaRue said.
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