Jan 28, 2014 7:59 PM by Andy Koen
COLORADO SPRINGS - Mayor Steve Bach's chief of staff is stepping down. Laura Neumann will be ending her job with the City of Colorado Springs on March 1 to spend more time with her family.
A city news release credited Neumann's leadership in helping balance the city's $400 million budget in her first year on the job, creating the highest reserve fund balance in city history.
Neumann says she's leaving to pursue another job but rather she wants to spend more time with her kids before they leave for college.
"Mom-hood is number one and in volunteering and giving back to the community which I get great reward from and being involved in all the activities that the kids are involved in."
Neumann is the second high-profile member of Mayor Bach's staff to resign in recent weeks. City Attorney Chris Melcher announced his resignation just before Halloween. Neumann and Melcher came under public criticism last April after for receiving $25,000 bonuses from the mayor.
Neumann said the bad publicity had nothing to do with her decision to resign.
"Looking back, being a public servant, the message that sent to the public, our citizens and to our employees, I should have thought twice about accepting that bonus," Neumann said.
She added that the timing of the bonuses was bad because the city was in the middle of an employee compensation study.
Given her earlier career in the private sector, Neumann said she didn't realize at the time how the news of the bonuses would be received.
"That's all I've ever known in the private sector though," she explained. "You do good work and are rewarded financially."
Retired Fire Chief and Former Economic Vitality Director Steve Cox has been picked to replace Neumann in the mayor's inner circle.