Lucas leaves Langley for judgeship

Eric Lucas, Langley's city attorney for the past 12 years and city administrator for the past two, is leaving.

On Friday afternoon, the Langley City Council and Mayor Pro-tem Neil Colburn reluctantly accepted Lucas' resignation. Colburn said Lucas is quitting his jobs as the city's attorney, prosecutor and administrator to take a seat on the Washington state appellate court bench.

In a two-hour executive session in an emergency meeting Friday, the council discussed whether they should try to offer Lucas a higher wage as incentive to stay. Lucas currently makes about $60,000 between his three roles with the city. The state court job, Colburn said, pays about $30,000 more.

With Mayor Lloyd Furman out of town on vacation and a tight budget written for 2002, Colburn said the council could not make a counter offer to match the state. He said he would have liked to be able to do that, since Lucas was "a bargain" at the wage the city was paying him.

Lucas, a Harvard law graduate, came to Langley after being hired by former Mayor Dale Elliot in 1990.

Two years ago, Mayor Furman and the city council named him city administrator in addition to his attorney's duties. During those two years, he spent much of his time working on the city's plan to extend sewer service to areas of the city that are still on septic systems, Colburn said.

Lucas' decision to leave was a shock. The city has no immediate plans on when or how it will find a replacement or replacements for him.

Colburn said he cannot imagine replacing Lucas.

"On a personal level, he's been a friend," he said.

Lucas will not leave the city immediately. His resignation as city administrator is effective two weeks from now. He will give up his city attorney duties in 60 days, and will continue to be the city's prosecutor for 90 days.

Lucas could not be reached Friday for comment on his resignation.

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