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Litchfield Park city manager dies
Submitted by Glenn Gullickson on Wed, 01/11/2017 - 12:00am
Darryl Crossman, 64, led city for 12 years
Litchfield Park City Manager Darryl H. Crossman is being remembered as a longtime civic leader who had an appreciation for his unique community.
Crossman, 64, died Jan. 6 after battling cancer.
“Darryl was a valuable asset to our staff and our community, and his presence and leadership will be sorely missed,” Litchfield Park Mayor Tom Schoaf said.
After he fell ill, Crossman had been working from home early last year, but he was back in the office job by mid-year.
Schoaf said it was believed Crossman had been doing well recently. He had been at work at City Hall on Jan. 5, the day before he was admitted to the hospital with complications related to the illness.
Assistant city manager Sonny Culbreth was named acting city manager Monday, with the appointment to be confirmed by the City Council at its Jan. 18 meeting.
Eventually, a search for a replacement will be launched, Schoaf said.
After being appointed by the City Council in November 2004, Crossman served as city manager for 12 years in the 3.3-square-mile city with a population of about 5,500.
As Litchfield Park’s chief executive officer, Crossman was responsible for the day-to-day operations of all city departments and for enforcing policy and administrating programs formulated by the City Council. The job includes hiring and supervising department directors and promoting Litchfield Park’s best interest in interactions with other levels of government.
“Darryl was the ultimate professional,” Schoaf said. “He was dedicated to making the city of Litchfield Park the best city for its residents.”
Schoaf said Crossman was involved in “every major thing that happened” in city government over the past 12 years, including negotiations for police and fire protection, the construction of a tunnel under Litchfield Road, updates to the city’s general plan and the recent Tierra Verde Lake wall project.
Councilman Peter Mahoney said Crossman was instrumental in the city’s recent purchase of land around City Hall to be developed into a village center, a project he had hoped to see completed in his lifetime.
Mahoney, the senior member of the seven-member council, recalled when the city hired Crossman.
“He took us from a council that was split on two sides of the aisle and he was able to bring us together,” Mahoney said.
“He had his fingerprints on every part of City Hall. It’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to replace someone like Darryl Crossman,” Mahoney said.
Vice Mayor Paul Faith said Crossman “was a great city manager, leader and a wonderful person. He was devoted to the city of Litchfield Park and its citizens.”
Councilman Jeff Raible said the city had been fortunate to have someone of Crossman’s caliber as city manager.
“He was an extremely capable individual, always demonstrating great skill, knowledge and collaboration in order to make positive things happen for our community,” Raible said.
Crossman’s influence extended beyond Litchfield Park as one of the longest serving members of the Maricopa Association of Government’s Management Committee. He was chair of the committee from 2015 to 2016 and also served as vice chair and a member of the street committee.
Crossman previously served as director of public service in Wickliffe, Ohio, for 28 years.
In a statement on Litchfield Park’s website, Crossman wrote, “Like Litchfield Park, Wickliffe is rich in tradition and history. Therefore, I recognize the importance of preserving Litchfield Park’s unique qualities in an urban environment.”
Glenn Gullickson can be reached at email@example.com.
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