Woodstock city manager to retire in April
Tim Clifton will retire in April after serving nearly 20 years as Woodstock’s city manager.
Mayor Brian Sager announced the planned retirement July 23 and said the Woodstock City Council will determine a specific search process and timeline for hiring a new city manager at its Sept. 4 meeting.
Sager said Clifton has brought strong leadership and professionalism to the position and the impacts of his leadership can be seen throughout the city.
“We have a community that runs very efficiently and with a commitment to listening and responding to the needs of our residents,” Sager said. “We are appreciative of the fact that in his typical style, Tim communicated early and forthrightly his intent to retire in April of next year so that the City Council would have the opportunity to search for an appropriate replacement, a task that will not be easy given his incredible track record.”
Clifton was hired as city manger in November 1993. Before coming to Woodstock, Clifton worked as district customer support manager and governmental marketing consultant at Unisys in Okemos, Mich. He served as city manager of Monroe, Mich. and Boyne City, Mich., and as assistant city manager of Kalamazoo, Mich., before that.
While Clifton didn’t point to one single accomplishment during his tenure, he said every city manager wants to leave with their city in a better position when they leave, something he believes has been accomplished. He pointed to the capital improvement programs, the tax increment financing istrict, the economic growth in the city and the management of city finances during difficult economic years as positives during his tenure.
“Twenty years ago when I accepted this position, it seemed like an ideal community to raise a family,” he said, indicating the city was on the right track when he took the job. “I just wanted to continue to enhance the quality of life.”
Clifton said he has been “blessed with the best administrative team.”
While the Council faces the challenge of hiring a new city manager, Clifton said he knows to step out of the way.
“It’s not my city. It’s the community’s city,” he said, indicating that the Council was chosen by the residents to make that decision. “All I am is a goodwill ambassador for the city. [Woodstock] is ahead of the curve. It’s been a great job. I’ve enjoyed it for 20 years … It will be fantastic for whoever assumes [the position].”
From now until April, Clifton said he is focused on the tasks at hand. He said various economic development projects, potential retail opportunities and a major year in terms of road construction will keep him busy until his final day as city manager.
Sager said he is confident the city will move forward in a positive manner.
“There will be a change at the top. We’ll find a strong, knowledgeable professional who will help continue the momentum of the city,” Sager said. “And [that person] will be supported by other great professionals.”