Editor’s note: This story was updated at 7:15 p.m. to include comments from Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Kansas City, Missouri's longtime City Manager Troy Schulte will retire early next year.
Schulte served as city manager under former mayors Mark Funkhouser and Sly James. In his 10 years in the position, Schulte saw the city through a recession, helped guide the passage of an $800 million infrastructure package, and oversaw the creation of a streetcar system and groundbreaking on a new airport terminal.
In a statement Tuesday, Schulte said he made the decision to retire “with pride.”
“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,” he said.
Following the announcement, Mayor Quinton Lucas thanked Schulte for his service.
"I think hiring Troy Schulte was the best thing that Mayor Funkhouser did," Lucas said. "I think a lot of people would say that Kansas City is a better place now."
Still, Lucas acknowledged that he hasn’t always been Schulte’s biggest fan — Lucas was critical of the airport procurement process, which Schulte helped lead. He has also criticized Schulte for failed negotiations to keep Kansas City inmates at the Jackson County Jail.
Since moving inmates to a temporary jail, one has died and several have escaped.
Moving forward, Lucas said he would look for a city manager who shares his priorities such as affordable housing and public safety.
Schulte did not indicate any immediate plans, except to “give my wife Laurie a break and run the shuttles to my kids’ practices and activities.”
Schulte will retire when his contract expires on Feb. 29, 2020. That gives Lucas and the city time to find a replacement.
Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.