“Change at the top is healthy and this is the best time to do it, when a new council is coming in,” Hoyt said. “And that includes me.”
Hoyt said Thursday that he can retire any time, but he intends to wait until September in order to continue to work through City Council initiatives such as the extension of the Chief Ladiga Trail and the strategic planning process and to also help the council hire his replacement.
Hoyt was hired in September 2009 by the previous City Council. He said when he took the position, the city had gone without a manager for about a year, and without one in place to make new hires, had several vacancies among the staff as well.
Hoyt said he and the members of the council had not yet discussed the specifics of the hiring process, but he did say the city would conduct a national search for this replacement. He said he hopes he can remain with the city long enough to get the new manager started in his job.
“The rhythm will just rock on; it won’t even skip a beat,” he said.
Hoyt said his decision was not requested by the council and did not result from a difference of opinion.
“We have a council now that wants to make a lot of changes, and they’re in agreement over those changes — they’re not fighting over them,” he said. “In the spirit of the change, I’m willing to step aside and let the changes occur.”
Councilman David Reddick said he had hoped Hoyt would be a part of the council accomplishing some major projects. But, he said, “he’s at the point where he’s ready to retire, so we have to respect his decision.”
Councilwoman Millie Harris said she was surprised by Hoyt’s announcement. “I thought that he would be around for a while,” she said. But when he leaves, she said, the new manager will have some really big shoes to fill.
“I’ve gained a real appreciation for what Mr. Hoyt does,” she said. “He’s one of the most intelligent, competent people I’ve ever met. He’s very conscientious; he bends over backward to be helpful.”
Staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.