After nearly 20 years working as a city administrator in South Portland, Jeffrey Jordan will step down from his post to spend more time with his family.

Last Thursday, Jordan called a special meeting of the City Council to announce his resignation from his position as city manager.

Jordan said the long hours and night meetings have taken their toll on him and his family. “It is time to regain some balance between our professional and personal lives,” he said. Jordan lives with his wife, Anne, a lawyer, and their two children in South Portland.

His 15-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter were young when he was hired as city manager in 1996. Because of his job, he said he’s missed dinners, cut short family vacations, and left his kids’ Little League games early.

“My kids haven’t known any different,” said Jordan.

South Portland Police Patrol Association Vice President James Fahey has worked with Jordan for 19 years. He said it was admirable that Jordan was making his family his top priority.

“After a while, you don’t want to be an absentee parent,” he said. “I give him credit for making that decision.”

Fahey described their relationship as amicable. “We agree more than we disagree,” he said. “We have disagreed before, but so have my wife and I.”

Fahey said Jordan’s decision to resign was unexpected. “You just get into a mode of familiarity, and any retirement catches you by surprise,” he said.

When Jordan’s predecessor Jerre Bryant resigned 10 years ago, that was a surprise to Fahey as well, he said.

At this point, Jordan does not have another job lined up. Since he was in college, he always planned on becoming a city manager, and never embarked on any other career exploration.

“I’m not going to rush into a position that I won’t be happy in,” he said. ” I want to find something that lights my spark.”

South Portland City Councilor Claude Morgan worked with Jordan when he led the South Portland Dog owners group. He described Jordan as “maniacally efficient and a marvelous mediator.”

“He’s universally recognized for those skills,” said Morgan.

At the negotiating table, Jordan helped people work together despite their differences in philosophies or agendas, said Morgan. “Jeff Jordan would have you shaking hands and really appreciating each other’s position with the intent of getting stuff done,” said Morgan.

Morgan said he is uncertain whether a new city manager will be hired by Jordan’s departure in July. “We’re not going to let the city go adrift by any means,” he said.

Jordan is advising the council on the process for hiring the next city manager, said Morgan. “This is now another item that Jeff is providing resources for,” said Morgan.

Jordan said he is committed to make the transition as smooth as possible for the city.

South Portland City Manager Jeff Jordan will be leaving his job at the end of the month.