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North Las Vegas Communications Director Mitch Fox leaving

North Las Vegas Communications Director Mitch Fox is leaving after two years.

The ex-television talk show host said he had another gig lined up, but that he couldn’t talk publicly about it yet. Fox’s previous job as host of Vegas PBS’ “Nevada Week in Review” is still open.

Fox said he felt he’d done what he had set out to do with the city. Specifically, he cited an overhaul of the city’s website. The new website — which cost $74,100 and was built by Michigan-based company Revize — went live in February. Fox said the project was a massive undertaking that he began working on when he started.

Fox worked on contract for $125,000 a year without benefits.

Fox’s role as the master behind the message for a city trying to make a comeback hasn’t always been smooth.

He came under fire in October 2014 for handling a personal matter for a councilman.

In January 2015, Fox sent out a press release that said the city would save $1.6 million annually by implementing a new bailiff program. But the idea cost the city $500,000 in personnel and was not a savings.

A Review-Journal analysis a year later found the city had saved nothing from the program.

“There’s always a learning curve and I think the learning curve was probably a little stiffer or steeper than I realized — but what’s going on here at the city of North Las Vegas is nothing short of phenomenal,” Fox said.

In a November 2014 email City Manager Qiong Liu wrote to then-chief of staff now-Assistant City Manager Ryann Juden, “We need to do a better job to keep Mitch engaged so he won’t be wondering in the hallways as much. :)”

Juden replied, “ha ha I totally agree…I say the exact same thing about him “wondering” :)”

Juden sent an emailed statement for Liu on Thursday saying, “I don’t remember the exact context of the email from a discussion in 2014, but we so valued Mitch’s contribution that a few months after that conversation we ratified his contract for another year and wish he’d stay on the team longer.”

It is unclear what the city’s plans are for Fox’s replacement. His last day is April 9.

The release announcing Fox’s departure included praise from Mayor John Lee, who has said he brought Fox on because communication was a priority.

“Our residents are thankful for Mitch’s service but he leaves some huge shoes to fill,” Lee said in the release.

Contact Bethany Barnes at bbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Find her on Twitter: @betsbarnes

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