Caledonia Wisconsin Village Administrator Resigns, Tells Board: “My Tank Is Empty”

After six and a half years of serving as the Village Administrator, Tom Lebak is calling it quits, reported the Caledonia Patch in its article of January 4th, 2012. Rarely does the news media capture and print such frank and candid comments from a local government administrator, like they did here with Tom. Some examples of his quotes include:

“It’s just time,” Lebak said. “Over the holiday when I was off it felt like I was breathing again. My six and a half years here have been a challenge to say the least. However, I feel that I have reached the end of the road, my tank is empty and I do not have much more to give. I feel in my heart that I have done my best and I certainly appreciate the opportunity that I was given to serve the residents of Caledonia.”

For those of us who have had the honor and privilege of serving as a city (or county, village, town) manager (or administrator)  can empathize with these statements. Though I am younger than Tom, and only into my fifth year working in this field I have come to suspect that like me, most of my colleagues are driven by a sense of purpose and inertia that comes from within.

However, and especially so in these crazy economic times, it seems that it is the destiny of most local government managers to eventually burn out, having fought so many battles. I wish Tom the best and I hope that he finds new opportunities to “fill his tank”.

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