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Racine City Administrator James Palenick submitted a letter of resignation following the Common Council meeting Tuesday night after accepting a position in Middletown, Ohio.

James Palenick
Jim Palenick

Palenick’s last day on the job will be Friday, July 3. He served the community for three years.

“It has been my distinct honor and privilege to have served the City of Racine for these past three years during a time of both challenge and fulfillment,” he wrote in his resignation letter to the Common Council. “I have found Racine to be a wonderful community whose residents welcomed and embraced me, and whose leaders bestowed to me with their support and respect.

“For that, I will be forever grateful and will always remember my experiences here with fondness.”

Palenick acknowledged that his timing was not perfect, especially during the coronavirus. Still, he pointed out that the city has a “very professional and competent leadership team.” He promised to continue to dedicate his full effort and focus on a smooth transition and tying up loose ends.

“There is a certain melancholy that results from any transition in life where we come to the realization that we must step away from something we have devoted so much passion and effort to…” Palenick wrote. ‘i am buoyed, however, by the knowledge that so many committed and talented people are here to pick up the charge and continute to move Racine forward in a positive, responsible, and economically-viable manner.

City Alderman Trevor Jung said he would miss Palenick.

“His commitment to good government and problem solving made a positive difference for the City of Racine,” Jung said. “I wish him the best of luck as he continues his tenured career as a quality public servant in Middletown, Ohio.”

City alderman John Tate III said Palenick was a great asset to the city because he “fully embraced being a member of our community during his service.”

“He will be sorely missed, but I wish him the best as he pursues opportunities that fulfill his career aspirations. The Middletown, OH community is lucky to have him,” Tate said.

Racine Alderman Henry Perez appreciated Palenick’s development skills, how he answered questions and his knowledge of process and law.

“If he did not know he would look it up. At first, I didn’t think we needed him but he immediately proved his value,” Perez said. “I believe that he was the best administrator we had during my tenure of seven years. He was a no-nonsense man and the City because of its strong Mayor format was unable to take advantage of the full spectrum of his skills and knowledge.”

Palenick starts his new job on July 13.

“I eagerly welcome the leadership, expertise, accountability, and energy I believe Mr. Palenick will bring to Middletown. His past successes reflect his ability to bring groups together and serve as the catalyst to propel our city into the brighter future it deserves,” said Nicole Condrey, City of Middletown Mayor.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.