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Local News in Brief : Huntington Beach : Cook to Quit Next Year as City Administrator

City Administrator Paul Cook said Tuesday that he will resign in March, 1990, to become a consultant and expert witness in the traffic engineering field.

Cook, 51, notified the seven City Council members of his retirement plans in a memo. Several council members said they are sorry to see him go.

“I tried to talk him out of it,” Councilman John Erskine said.

Cook said he had tired of dealing with city bureaucracy.

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“My retirement was to be 2 years from now--in my own mind--and in the last 6 months I have really found the bureaucracy was really affecting my . . . daily work attitude, my feelings about the job,” Cook said.

“I’m an engineer,” he added. “The things I like to do are build things and put projects together. But the city’s interests will be moving toward management audits and long-term growth planning--things I find rather boring. So I should get out before I really start to hate it.”

Cook had been the city’s director of public works until he was appointed city administrator in November, 1987. He will leave the job with a retirement pension of roughly $35,000 of his $105,000-a-year salary.

He is credited by many with putting together a compromise development plan for the environmentally fragile Bolsa Chica Wetlands, as well as making significant progress in the city’s lengthy quest to redevelop its downtown, where he intends to locate his one-man consulting business.

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“I love it there. I’ll be one of the regulars down there sitting outside the Sugar Shack (Cafe), complaining about the city,” he joked.


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