Oklahoma City’s longest serving city manager announced he will be retiring from his post.
Jim D. Couch was appointed as the city manager of the City of Oklahoma City on Nov. 9, 2000.
"I’m retiring as Oklahoma City’s City Manager, not from the community," Couch said in a news release. "I plan to stay in the City I’ve grown to love. I’m ready to write a new chapter in my life. I don’t know what it is yet, but I want to pursue it."
Couch's last day will be Jan. 2, 2019, and he will use accumulated vacation leave for most of the time between Thanksgiving and Jan. 2.
In the position, he served as the chief administrative officer of the city and was responsible for the management and day-to-day operation of city government.
"Sometimes, it can feel like Jim Couch is the unsung hero of the Oklahoma City renaissance. But if that is the case, today is a day to sing songs of praise," said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. "Simply stated, Jim Couch is the best City Manager in the country, and he is absolutely one of the top five most important figures in this successful chapter of Oklahoma City’s history. It is no accident that he is by far the longest-serving City Manager in Oklahoma City history, and we would have welcomed his continued service for as long as he was willing to give it."
Before his appointment, Couch served as assistant city manager/MAPS director for two and a half years and the water/wastewater utilities director for 11 years.
"There has been a lot of talk about the MAPS mayors – but very little about the MAPS city manager. Jim Couch would never mention it because he’s a humble person who’s happiest working behind the scenes, but he was an integral part of Oklahoma City’s renaissance," said former Mayor Mick Cornett. "It’s one thing to have a vision and another thing entirely to implement that vision. Jim was there, every step of the way, helping to turn a vision for a better Oklahoma City into the reality we have today. He is the best city manager in the nation. He was a valued partner in my four terms as mayor and a great friend."