KANSAS CITY, Mo. — City Manager Troy Schulte will retire after his contract expires next year.
Schulte, who has been at the helm for a decade, made the announcement in a statement Tuesday.
“I’ve made this decision with a sense of pride and nostalgia,” Schulte said. “Serving as KCMO’s City Manager for the last decade has been the greatest and most rewarding professional achievement of my life and I am so proud of all we have accomplished, working on behalf of the citizens of Kansas City.”
Schulte’s contract expires Feb 29, 2020.
Schulte has worked in city government for 21 years. Before taking over as city manager in 2011, he worked in the city’s budget office.
During his tenure, the city has seen major changes, including a multi-million dollar bond program, the creation of the streetcar system, new convention center hotel and the approval to build a new airport.
Schulte’s announcement came as somewhat of a surprise to Mayor Quinton Lucas, with whom Schulte has had disagreements, particularly over development of the new airport.
During a news conference, Lucas said he expected Schulte to seek out other opportunities, but did not know an announcement was imminent.
“I think on the whole, he’s been a good manager,” Lucas told reporters at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Lucas will be tasked with nominating a candidate for the position. The candidate will then have to be approved by the city council.
“I want somebody who understands the needs of every part of the city. I think it’s fair to say that there are a lot of people who are happy with the way things are going and have gone. There are other people for whom their quality of life has not improved,” he said.
A nationwide search for someone to fill the position begins Wednesday. Lucas said one of the top priorities is making sure the airport is completed on schedule.
“We need to make sure we get some projects done and done on time and with responsibility to the budget,” he said. “The airport is a big part of it. We have a deadline of 2023, before the NFL draft. I look forward to make sure we get that project done.”
Lucas also said they’re seeking a diverse field of candidates.
“It’s also not lost on me that this city in its long history…has never had a woman city manager. We’ve only had one city manager of color, so I want to make sure we know we’ll get diverse candidates and conduct a nationwide search in connection with that.”