Craig Prosser, who has been with the city six years, will complete his contract which expires in July
by: Jaime Valdez Craig Prosser has seen the city of Tigard through many changes in the last six years.

TIGARD - City Manager Craig Prosser will retire this summer after more than six years as the city's top appointed official.

In a letter sent to Mayor Craig Dirksen and city councilors on Friday Prosser, 60, praised the city for a long list of accomplishments during his time with the city, including forming the city's first urban renewal district, the Tigard-Lake Owego water partnership and major improvements along Pacific Highway.

'We will certainly miss him,' said Tigard Mayor Craig Dirksen. 'He's done a great job for this city.'

Prosser came to the city in 1999 as finance director and was appointed interim city manager in 2005 following the resignation of then-manager Bill Monahan. A position that was made permanent later that year.

Before coming to Tigard, Prosser worked in finance positions for the city of Portland, Metro and the Oregon Department of Energy.

Prosser also served on the Lake Oswego City Council for two terms from 1995 through 2000.

Prosser called his position in Tigard 'the best job of his career' and said he would work through his 2011 contract, which expires July 31.

'I would be willing to put the city of Tigard staff up against any public work force in the state, if not the nation,' Prosser wrote in his letter to the mayor. 'The citizens of Tigard are fortunate to have such dedicated elected officials and public employees working on their behalf. All of this made my decision to retire a very difficult one.'

Prosser said that he had always planned to retire early and travel.

'I'm just going to take some time to adjust and, if I can, I'd like to do some volunteer work or part time work. I plan to just explore things as I can,' he said.

Before retiring Prosser will finish work on next year's budget - which is expected to be completed in a few weeks - as well as continue work on the Tigard-Lake Oswego water partnership and Southwest Corridor Study which is looking into possibly bringing high-capacity transit, such as light rail, to Tigard in the next few years.

Dirksen said that he would like the city's next city manager to come from in-house, rather than a nationwide search.

'That process worked so well for us (when Prosser was hired) that I would recommend doing that again,' Dirksen said.

There is no rush to find a replacement for Prosser right away, Dirksen said, and he doubts that a new city manager will be found by July 31.

Dirksen said that if no replacement is found by then, Assistant City Manager Liz Newton could fill the position in an interim capacity.

'Liz is more than competent to fill that roll for however long we would ask her to,' Dirksen said.

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