On Friday, East Ridge City Manager Scott Miller announced that he would be retiring from his position this fall.
In a letter dated Aug. 3, Miller informed the mayor and city council that he would step down effective Oct. 26.
“After considerable thought and discussions with my family I have concluded that it is time for me to move onward in the next stage of my life,” Miller wrote in the letter. “Therefore, I hereby submit my letter of retirement as City Manager of the City of East Ridge, TN to be effective October 26, 2018. Thereafter, I plan on pursuing other interests and business ventures.”
Miller went on to express his gratitude to the council for giving him the opportunity to serve.
Miller was hired in May of 2016 by a 3-2 vote of the City Council, with Denny Manning and Jacky Cagle voting against the hiring.
Cagle said that Miller was “always a straight shooter” with him, and the two had a good working relationship. He said Miller did a better job as city manager than he expected.
“I have no grumbles with the man,” Cagle said.
Before being hired in East Ridge, Miller had briefly gone into retirement after serving eight years as city manager in Leavenworth, Kansas. Miller had also served as city manager in College Park, Georgia. All in all, Miller has served more than 30 years in public administration.
Sources say that Miller intends to continue to reside in East Ridge after he retires.
“I think he’s one of the best city managers we’ve had,” said Vice Mayor Larry Sewell. “He knows a lot about the Border Region Act and was familiar from previous jobs on economic development issues.
“I hate to see him go,” he said. “I’m glad he’s gonna be my neighbor in East Ridge.
Since adopting a City Manager form of government East Ridge has employed numerous city managers. The average tenure of city managers in the city has been about two years. Since 2008, David Mays, Curtis Adams, William Witson, Tim Gobble, Andrew Hyatt and Miller have served in the post.
In recent years as the city has transitioned from one city manager to the next, East Ridge Fire Chief Mike Williams and former Director of Public Safety, Eddie Phillips have served as interim city manager.
The City Charter states that in the absence of the City Manager the Deputy City Manager will serve in the position. Chief Williams currently serves in that post.
Sewell said that he would favor using an interim city manager until after the November Municipal elections when a new council could choose Miller’s successor. Sewell said it would take more than a month to receive applications from candidates and even more time to interview finalists for the job. He said by that time the November election may have taken place.
Councilwoman Esther Helton said she hates to see Miller step down.
“I think he did an excellent job,” Helton said. “We accomplished a lot of good things. I trusted his opinion. It’s going to be hard to find anyone else with kind of experience and qualifications he had.”