After nearly two decades, Oklahoma City's city manager announced his retirement.
Jim Couch said he's ready for a new challenge, even if he doesn't know what that will be at the moment.
Couch has been the city manager for 18 years and is the longest serving city manager in Oklahoma City's history.
He oversees day-to-day operation at City Hall, including its 4,800 employee and its annual $1.56 billion budget.
“It’s a pretty stressful job. I’m in good health and my wife wants to keep my health good, so a less stressful job may help,” said Couch, who was the MAPS director before taking the city manager job in Nov. 2000.
“He is the one of the top five important figures in the renaissance of Oklahoma City as we know it,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.
He's negotiated with contract deals with Oklahoma City police officers and firefighters.
In 2016, he helped Oklahoma City reach a water rights deal with the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations.
Couch officially retires in January. The OKC City Council and mayor will appoint his replacement.
“One of the things I'm really proud of is the talent we've been able to attract to Oklahoma City,” said Couch.