After 30 years of service to the City of McPherson, Community Development Director Tom Stinemetze announced his intention to retire at the end of the year during this week's city commission meeting.
Stinemetze says he had a few reasons for making the decision.
“I'm 66 years old, I've got some projects sitting around the house that have been sitting around the house forever, waiting for me to have time to do them,” Stinemetze said. “As long as I'm doing this job, I'm not going to have time to get those done. I want to finish my airplane so I can fly it while I'm actually still young enough to do that.”
Stinemetze started with the city in 1985 as a temporary contract sanitary sewer project inspector. Not long after being named the city sanitarian in 1987, he made the leap to Zoning Administrator.
During his tenure, Stinemetze has seen four mayors, three city clerks and three city administrators.
“On the whole, the people have been wonderful with a tangible atmosphere of camardirie in the highest traditions of public service,” Stinemetze said in the letter announcing his intent to retire. “The challenges have been large but ultimately rewarding. The changes have been unbelievable but progressive. The city has grown in many ways and remains the wonderful place where we moved and raised our family and where my wife and I wish to stay.”
As he gets ready to transition into retirement, Stinemetze said that the planning and zone projects that stand out the most over the years were residential ones.
“The complications in creating new development in a city like this...you don't realize it when you buy someplace that's already and you move into it and start using the toilets and washing your dishes and flicking the light switches, all the things that had to happen to make that possible,” Stinemetze said.