WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 05, 2011, 09:54 PM

Cameron resigns from post, ready to move on

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - In a shocking move, just a day after voters decided to save the Valley City city administrator job, the man at the helm suddenly resigns.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

In a shocking move, just a day after voters decided to save the Valley City city administrator job, the man at the helm suddenly resigns. Jon Cameron is abruptly quitting to take a similar job down south after being embroiled in a bitter battle the past 6 months.

Jon Cameron has been Valley City's city administrator for three and a half years, but on November 11th, he'll leave the job that has created so much controversy.

Jon Cameron – Valley City City Administrator: “You weigh what you have in the community. You weigh your friendships.”

After a trying time of thought, Valley City city administrator Jon Cameron is unexpectedly leaving. He's resigning amid scandal.

Jon Cameron: “You can't say it didn't have anything to do with and you can’t say it did.”

Cameron has been in government for 35 years; Three and a half in the small community. But within weeks, he'll move south to be closer to his children and new grandchild.

George Dutton – Valley City City Commissioner: “To have a man of his caliber in a town of our size, I think we were really lucky.”

Cameron has fielded offers since February, but believes now is the time to quit, just one day after a large turnout at the polls kept him employed.

George Dutton: “His feeling is we'll have a better healing process if he moves on.”

Cameron decided Monday, but kept quiet until now.

Jon Cameron: “Me making any kind of announcement on Monday was really a moot issue because that wasn't that wasn't the legal issue that was on the ballot.”

He's taken much of the blame for the contentious fight with the former police chief. Still, Cameron has no regrets and is proud of the job he's done.

Jon Cameron: “The future's really bright for Valley City and they're going to be fine and we're going to be fine. It's going to be good for everybody.”

Cameron will start his new job as city manager November 14th. He will not say what state or community it is in, but that it's within a day’s drive of Texas. Cameron wants that city to release information before he does.

Opponents of the Valley City city administrator position are already vowing to bring the issue back to the public. Voters went to the polls Tuesday during a special election to get rid of that job. 1050 people voted to keep it, 888 voted to eliminate the job. City leaders tell WDAY 6 News petition organizers have asked to see the ballots to see if all of them are legal. Opponents say the issue is not necessarily Cameron, but an overpaid city job that's not needed.

Brian Mindt – Valley City: “If it is not any different than it is now and our city leaders do not start waking up and listening to the citizens that elected them that they're supposed to be representing, yes in two years to the date, we'll do the same thing over again.”

Opponents plan to look at the ballots Monday, when the city canvasses the votes. The city still faces a recall election in January for Mayor Bob Werkhoven and city commissioner Ken Evenson.