Edward Benavides, who has led the group planning San Antonio's 300th anniversary, is stepping down effective immediately, the group announced Monday morning.

There was no immediate word from the San Antonio Tricentennial Commission about the reason Benavides is leaving the position.

Until a permanent replacement is approved by the Commission, Assistant City Manager Carlos Contreras will serve as interim CEO, according to a news release. Contreras also will continue his duties as assistant city manager.

"We appreciate Edward's steadfast commitment to the Tricentennial planning effort," said Commission President Robert Thrailkill. "Edward worked extremely hard to prepare for the official celebration of San Antonio's 300th birthday. We respect his decision to do what he believes is in the best interest of the city.”

The commission is planning a celebration of the city's 300 years by developing a year of educational, artistic and entertaining events.

In a statement, Edward Benavides said:

I was born and raised in San Antonio, and I love my city. It is because of this love that I have dedicated my professional life to public service. Throughout my career, I have led with integrity, upheld high ethical values and always operated with the best intentions. My tenure with the Tricentennial Commission is no different, as evidenced by the adopted guiding principles.

The Tricentennial is an important historic milestone, to be enjoyed and experienced by residents and visitors alike. Our 300th anniversary should imbue joy, aspiration and legacy, not the negativity that currently surrounds the community wide planning. For these reasons I have resigned as CEO of the Commission.

I'm honored to have served in this leadership role and wish the volunteer-led Commission and the Tricentennial staff the very best.