HOLTS SUMMIT, Mo. — Holts Summit City Administrator Rick Hess announced his retirement Friday.
"My wife is almost 10 years older than I am, and she'd like to travel while she still can travel and enjoy herself," Hess said. "I reach Social Security age here in seven weeks. So I figured now's a good time."
Hess plans on stepping down April 30.
"There's a lot of work to do between now and then," he said.
He has notified Holts Summit administration and said the search for a new city administrator will begin immediately. Hess said he'll be happy to help with the hunt.
"Of course, we're going to miss him," Holts Summit Mayor Landon Oxley said. "He's done a lot for Holts Summit. The board and myself wish him well."
Hess took the position with Holts Summit on July 5, 2016. Since then, Oxley said, he's helped Holts Summit become a "Purple Heart Town" with designated combat veteran parking. He's also worked on reforming city codes and attracting new businesses to town.
For himself, Hess said he's proud of improving communications between the city and its residents.
"One of the biggest things is being able to get information out to everybody on a much more regular basis," he said.
Whoever fills the position will be busy, Oxley said.
"We'd like to find somebody before Rick leaves so the transition will be smooth," he added.
Before coming to Holts Summit, Hess was city administrator in Battlefield for eight years.
He also served as emergency management director for Battlefield and is a voting board member on the Regional Homeland Security Oversight Committee. He was a member of the Springfield Missouri Area Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization and served on the Technical Planning Committee and the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
Before becoming city administrator for Battlefield, he was in Transportation Security Administration at Dubuque, Iowa Regional Airport. Before that, he served in the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Iowa National Guard.
Now, he and his wife plan to move to a lake house in Bonne Terre, where Hess will enjoy golfing, boating, fishing, gardening, reading and completing "lots of honey-do lists."