Santa Fe Land Use Director Carol Johnson and her husband, Kevin Kellogg, who also works for the city as its asset development manager, have resigned effective Dec. 13.
In a statement issued Tuesday morning, Johnson said she made the “difficult decision” to resign from the city “due to the urgent need to care for a family member.”
“I have made dear friends here and will continue to have strong connections to this place, but family must come first,” Johnson, who joined the administration of Mayor Alan Webber in June 2018, said in her statement. “The needs of my family require me to relocate to Oregon by the end of December, so my last day with the city of Santa Fe will be December 13.”
Johnson is among the highest-paid city employees, making about $122,400 a year.
Kellogg, who was paid about $99,900 a year, joined the city in April following a six-month stint as executive director of the nonprofit Housing Trust in Santa Fe.
The couple recently made news after revelations that Kellogg had failed to obtain a building permit for construction work at their home in the 700 block of Dunlap Street. Asked then whether Johnson and Kellogg had any plans to move, city spokeswoman Lilia Chacon responded no.
“Because at that time the answer was no,” Webber wrote in response via Twitter. “We are as surprised as we are saddened by the loss of these two dedicated public servants. The city owes them a huge debt of gratitude.”
Chacon said Tuesday the city plans to fill the looming vacancies on an interim basis.
“But there are no names yet,” Chacon wrote in an email. “The mayor wants to find the best person for the job, and that means a search both locally and nationally.”
In a statement, Webber called the announcement of Johnson and Kellogg’s resignations bittersweet.
“Family always comes first and it’s clear that Carol and Kevin are making the right decision,” Webber wrote. “I also feel that they’ve very quickly become important members of Santa Fe’s family. Both have made important contributions to city government and to our community. … Kevin’s work in asset development has been just as significant, working on the midtown site, turning city land into housing, promoting economic opportunities, and overseeing the property the city owns and needs to manage better. They are both going to be missed, and I wish them only the best as they move to take care of their family.”
Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.