With his wife seated by his side at the end of Wednesday night's City Council meeting, Rifle City Manager John Hier announced his plans to retire in May.
Hier, 62, has been in charge of Rifle City Hall for the last nine years. Prior to that, he was Carbondale city manager for nine years.
"It's time to put me out to pasture," Hier said to the City Council and staff, with his wife, Melissa, next to him. "I will retire from full time work in city management and we plan to relocate to be closer to family in Lincoln, Neb."
While he has been asked to work part time in municipal government in the Lincoln area, Hier said he will also pursue more leisurely activities while helping run the family's 500-acre farm.
"There's fish to be caught, a garden to be grown and pheasants to be hunted," Hier said.
He also praised the city staff and council members he worked with over the last nine years.
"The can-do attitude of everyone has just been exemplary," Hier said. "From the City Council to all employees, I've seen that everyone works in concert to promote community development programs and look for ways to get things done."
City Council decided to follow the city personnel code, which allows in-house applicants to seek the position over a five-day period that will start Monday. If a suitable candidate is found, the position may not be advertised more broadly, Hier said. The final decision on Hier's successor will be up to the City Council.
Read more about Hier and his decision to retire in the Thursday, Jan. 24 edition of The Citizen Telegram.