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SAN FRANCISCO-The Presidio Trust announced yesterday that it has parted ways with Executive Director Jim Meadows, who has been at the helm for almost four years.

Spokesman Ron Sonenshine says that the Presidio Trust’s seven-member Board of Directors and Meadows reached “an agreement” that he would step aside. “It’s not fair to characterize it as a resignation or a firing,” says Sonenshine, describing the decision as unanimous.

Congress created the Presidio Trust in 1996 to preserve and enhance the former Army bases’ natural, historic and scenic resources, while becoming financially self-sufficient by 2013. Meadows was the trust’s first and only executive director.

Sonenshine says that Meadows was an assertive and aggressive in his leadership and the board felt that the Presidio needed a new kind of leadership.

Meadows came to the Presidio Trust in January 1998 from Denver where he served for four years as the executive director of the Lowry Redevelopment Authority and oversaw the redevelopment of the former Lowry Air Force Base, according to the Presidio Trust’s Web site.

Meadows’ departure took effect today and Craig Middleton, the Presidio Trust’s deputy director of governmental affairs, is serving as interim executive director. A nationwide search for Meadows’ permanent successor will begin in January, Sonenshine said.

Recent reports of mismanagement were not mentioned by the trust, although many complaints and questions have risen lately about the cost of construction and rehabilitation work on the Presidio’s buildings.

The Presidio Trust is hoping to present its environmental impact statement on the future of the park in March or April, a document being considered in light of some 4,000 comments received this fall during the draft stage of that process. Sonenshine said the search for a new executive director should not delay that work.

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