Derek Bates will be stepping down as city manager at the end of this year.
Bates, who has held the job since January 2007, let council know Thursday and city staff was advised Friday morning before a statement was released publicly, Mayor Shari Green said.
Other than to say "he's made that decision for himself," Green would not say why Bates decided to move on and he could not be reached for comment Friday.
With five months left in the year, Green said he did give plenty of time to find a replacement and has indicated he would like to work with council and staff on the transition.
"Council needs to sit down and talk about what our plans will be in filling that position," Green said when asked what kind of person they'll be looking for. "We've got our two-week summer break at the moment so many of us are away on vacation, including myself, so we will reconvene shortly and we'll talk about what that looks like."
Given Bates held the job for six years, Green said his decision did not come as a shock.
"While I have a great working relationship with him and I'm going to miss that because he's been a real key leader for me in my new role, I'm optimistic that we'll have a new person in the position in the new year that will bring about some fantastic continued results for the city," Green added.
Winning the right to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games, leading staff and the community through the myPG planning process, delivering a new official community plan and achieving gold level certification in the Excellence Canada quality program, were listed as achievements during Bates' tenure.
"And they don't even scratch the surface, they really don't," Green said. "They've been really, really good for the city and wherever he goes they will be lucky to have him."
Prior to becoming city manager, Bates had worked for 18 years at the Fraser-Fort George Regional District, the last two-and-a-half of them as the chief administrator.
Born and raised in Prince George, Bates graduated from Duchess Park, then attended the College of New Caledonia and before landing a job at the provincial Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks as an engineering assistant in the water management branch in 1988 and 1989.
Upon moving to the FFGRD, Bates became the assistant administrator and his responsibilities ranged from bylaw enforcement to administering elections to managing the regional district's buildings. He also helped set up the 911 emergency telephone service in the early 1990s.
In 1994, he was named the environmental services director, and put in charge of implementing a plan to reduce the amount of garbage going into area landfills by 50 per cent. Changes also included taking over the Foothills landfill from the city.
In 2003, Bates was appointed the assistant chief administrator, when Anne Hogan retired and was replaced by Bob Long. Bates was promoted to chief administrator in March 2004 when Long left after 15 months.
When he became city manager, Bates took over from George Paul, who had held the post for 17 years.
In 2011, Bates earned $203,879 in salary according to city financial statements. In 2009, he saw a 22 per cent increase in his salary, rising from $159,100 the year before to $194,262.