City communications manager resigns, city blog to end

October 6, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

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UPDATE — 10:32 a.m. Oct. 6, 2009

Doug Alder, Newcastle communications manager, has submitted his resignation. Alder’s resignation will take effect Nov. 6.

“It’s totally my decision,” Alder said regarding his resignation. “I’m just going to be moving on. I definitely had mixed emotions about it, because I love this job. It’s tough to walk away, but I’m ready to try some new things.”

Alder made a final post to the city’s blog — Newcastle 411 — thanking the community for its kindness and announcing that the comment portion of the blog will be disabled at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 9, because it will no longer have an administrator.

Alder said the blog will remain online, but will not be updated.

John Starbard, city manager, said that without a communications manager, the city would not have the staff to maintain Newcastle 411.

Starbard also said that due to financial constraints, he would recommend that the city not fill the position after Alder’s departure.

Alder said his resignation was in no way related to a recent surge of comments on the city’s blog under the Oct. 2 posting, “The Latest on the Library.”

The comments regarded both the library and the nature of the blog itself, and those who commented occasionally made personal attacks toward one another.

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