OKLAHOMA CITY – The longest-serving City Manager in Oklahoma City’s history announced he is retiring.
“I’m retiring as Oklahoma City’s City Manager, not from the community,” said James D. Couch. “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 announced his resignation, effective January 2, on Monday in a letter to Mayor David Holt.
“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 Mayor 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. We also understand that Jim has done this for a long time, and that he wants to leave time for new experiences. I know I speak for the City Council when I say that it is with the greatest regret that we hear this news, but we wish Jim only the best, and we look forward to the next few months we still have together.”
Couch was appointed City Manager on November 9, 2000. He would oversee the day-to-day operations of the City of Oklahoma City.
According to city officials, his major accomplishments include “securing long-term water rights for OKC, negotiating agreements with the New Orleans Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder and leading MAPS, MAPS for Kids, MAPS 3 and the current Better Streets, Safer City program.”