SOLON– It’s been over eight years since Cassandra Lippincott first said hello to Solon.
Now it’s time to say goodbye.
Lippincott, the city’s third city administrator and its longest tenured, announced last week she has accepted a position with the city of Wildwood, Fla., and will be leaving in April.
Lippincott came to head up Solon’s city government in November 2005, following in the footsteps of the first city administrator, Brandy Forbes, and her successor, Tracey Mulcahey.
The city created the position in the spring of 2000.
A native of the Quad Cities area, Lippincott came to Solon after serving in the same position with the city of Manning for three years. Prior to that, she exercised her bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. Ambrose University as the city clerk in Princeton, Iowa, for six years.
While in Solon, Lippincott watched over the city government as the community experienced substantial growth.
She said the Main Street reconstruction project topped her list of accomplishments for the city.
“That had been discussed since the day I came on board, and I think it was probably discussed long before that,” she said. “To see that happen was really, really nice.”
In addition, Lippincott helped guide the city council through its long journey to a new city hall, which she will not have the opportunity to enjoy.
“There have been a lot of projects, especially in the last three years,” she noted.
And there’s been even more residential growth, she said, remembering back to her first tour of the community with Public Works Director Scott Kleppe. Since that time, Windmill Estates, Prairie Acres and Fox Ridge have all blossomed with residents.
“I have a kind of mental memory of where they were when I came, and where they are now,” she said.
Beginning April 28, she will be serving as the City Clerk and Chief Financial Officer for a growing community in central Florida. Wildwood, located off Interstate 75, is near the planned, age-restricted development known as The Villages.
“They’re growing extremely rapidly,” Lippincott said of her new community, which has an estimated current population of around 7,000.
Her main focus in Wildwood will be on the financial side.
“Because they’ve grown so rapidly, they need someone on board that can help them put financial packages together and keep the city moving in the right direction,” she said.
And she won’t have to deal with a winter like the one Iowa just exited.
Recently, when talking to her boyfriend in Florida, Solon was suffering through a wind chill of minus-40, and Florida was basking in the 70s.
“It was only a 110-degree swing,” she observed, laughing.
But that’s not the only thing she’ll be leaving behind.
“It’s been a great eight years. This city is extremely fortunate in so many ways,” she said. “It has amazing elected officials that work really well together, which you don’t always find– they all have the best interests of the community at heart.
“And it has an amazing staff, that I’m going to miss dearly,” Lippincott continued. “They’ve made my job so much easier. Were it not for the outside personal reasons for leaving, I would be honored to have stayed here for many, many years.”
Her final council meeting will be Wednesday, April 16, and her last day as a Solon employee will be Friday, April 18. The city council is expected to begin discussing a candidate search this week.
“It was certainly with mixed emotion that I received Cassandra’s resignation,” said Mayor Cami Rasmussen in an email. “As mayor, I know what a loss her leaving will be for our community. She has brought a high standard of professionalism to the office and fiscal management that has allowed our city and community to become one of the best in Iowa.
“On behalf of myself and council I’d like to thank her for service to the City of Solon and wish her the very best,” Rasmussen concluded.