LEESVILLE, La.--City Administrator Richard Karamatic submitted his resignation on Friday, May 6. The resignation is effective, Friday, May 13.
Karamatic is accepting a position as executive director of the Rapides Parish Coliseum. The Rapides Parish Police Jury announced the appointment in a late meeting on Thursday, May 5. Karamatic said that the year he's spent as City Administrator has been both challenging and rewarding.
"There is no doubt that the City has some work ahead of it in order to get where it needs to be for the future, but I think we have a mayor who isn't afraid of hard work and who has a real vision for the future," he said. "Working with Mayor Allen over the last year has been a privilege. He's a great guy, and I have no doubt that he loves Leesville and wants to do his very best to move the City forward.
"I'm honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the region of central Louisiana in this new capacity at the coliseum. This position is very much in line with my background, and I'm excited about the potential."
Mayor Rick Allen expressed regret that Karamatic would be leaving.
"Mr. Karamatic has been a true blessing to the City while he's been here, and we're certainly going to miss him," he said. "I'm very pleased with how well he's managed City affairs over the last year. We're in the best financial shape we've ever been in, and Richard played a huge part in that."
Karamatic first moved to Leesville in 1956 when his father was stationed at Fort Polk. He graduated Leesville High school in 1967 then enrolled at Northwestern State University. After spending two years in the military and two years in the work force, he graduated from NSU in 1976 with a Bachelors of Science in recreation and leisure service and then moved to Dallas where he accepted a position with the city.
He spent 17 years in the Parks and Recreation department for the City of Dallas, during which time he managed the Cotton Bowl, which seats 72,000 people and hosts various annual concerts, bowl games, NCAA football games, and the Oklahoma-Texas Red River Shoot-Out. After working for the City of Dallas, he oversaw the construction of and was general manager for Infomart, the nation's first InfoTech Convention and Conference Center. His tenure at Infomart led to a job in McAllen, Texas, on the Mexico/US border, where he managed the local theater and recreation complex.
In 2004 Karamatic moved to San Antonio, Texas to take a position as the assistant director of public facilities for the city. There, his primary focus was on converting three departments that managed the Alamo Dome and Convention Center; Lila Cockrell Theater; and the Municipal Auditorium, into one major Convention, Sports, and Entertainment Facilities Department.
He retired from his job in Allen, Texas, where he was the general manager of the Allen Events Center Arena, in 2013.
In September of 2014 Karamatic and his wife, Susan, returned home to Vernon Parish. In May of 2015, he was appointed the Leesville City Administrator.
Karamatic's focus for the City over the last year has been on improving communications, beautifying the City and improving the City's financial standing in order to invest in infrastructure.
The Leesville City Council will consider appointing an interim replacement during its regularly scheduled meeting at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 9 so that a smooth transition can occur during Karamatic's final week at the City.