GEARHART - City Administrator Dennis McNally submitted his resignation, effective April 1, to the City Council Wednesday night.

McNally, 58, who has been city administrator for 16 years, said he has considered resigning for the past two years.

"I've been constantly looking at it, but I'd say 'This is not a good time.' And then I'd think about it again and say, 'This is not a good time.' Finally, I got to the point when I asked myself, 'When is it ever a good time?'" McNally said.

McNally's salary is $80,000. In addition to his duties as city administrator, he acts as director of public works and city planning, and street and water supervisor.

"You have to have a sense of humor," McNally said about the job.

In his letter to the City Council, McNally said it had been an "honor and privilege to work for such a fine community. I appreciate all the support that the council, residents and, especially, the city staff have given me over the years."

McNally said he would be available after his retirement to assist the City Council in searching for his replacement. This would eliminate the need for an interim city administrator, he said.

City Council members are meeting with a League of Oregon Cities representative in City Hall today to discuss how the league can assist in recruiting a city administrator.

Mayor Kent Smith said he was sorry to see McNally go. "You have been exceptionally qualified to do the job," Smith said.

Councilor Dorothy Well agreed. "We will have a period of mourning when you leave," she said.

McNally joined the city after retiring from a 24-year stint with the U.S. Coast Guard. His last post was as the engineering officer for the Coast Guard cutter, Resolute.

In other business, the City Council awarded a $7.4 million bid to complete construction of the city's water system to R & G Excavating, of Scio. The company was chosen from among eight bidders. Construction is expected to begin in March and last for 16 months, according to the bid.