The city of Tucson's streetcar construction chief is leaving for greener pastures.
Today is streetcar project manager Jesse Gutierrez's last day on the job, for which he was paid $78,374 a year.
He submitted his 30-day resignation notice last month after accepting a position with a local engineering and construction company.
After spending the past two decades with the city, Gutierrez said the time was right for him to make a change.
The new position "was a great opportunity for me to expand my career," said Gutierrez, who has managed the streetcar project from Day One. "I've got a great amount of experience, training and education and I want to take advantage of that while I'm still somewhat young. And in essence it's a better opportunity to provide for my family."
Gutierrez gave the extended notice because he wanted to stay on the job until the underground improvements and construction on Congress Street between Stone and Church avenues were completed.
"I wanted to get that done. That was a big thing. We've been in there since last July," he said. "And the underground is crucial to a project like this ... so I wanted to get done with some of these critical elements."
Gutierrez is confident things will run smoothly after his departure today.
"The team is in great shape," Gutierrez said. "It's very professional and prepared to handle the task."
The city has already chosen Gutierrez's replacement.
Joe Chase, engineering project manager with the city's Department of Transportation, will assume Gutierrez's duties.
Chase's annual salary is $58,968.
Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4243.