CEDAR CITY – Cedar City Manager Rick Holman announced his retirement Thursday after serving the community for 31 years. His last day is slated for June 30.
Holman has come a long way since his first days working in public service as a summer intern with Cedar City. At the time, Holman was between his two-year Masters of Public Administration program at Brigham Young University.
However, that experience, he said, helped solidify his desire to work in municipal government.
Following graduation, Holman went to work for Cedar City for two years under the guidance and direction of then-City Manager Joe Melling, who became a mentor for him, he said. Former Mayor Harold Shirley was serving at the time, and he also played a strong role in Holman’s career.
“Joe and Huck (Harold Shirley) were very helpful in my early career. They allowed me to work in many areas of the city,” Holman said. “The working relationship between the staff and the elected officials was great. It demonstrated how professional staff can help elected officials can make good things happen for a community.”
Holman took a sabbatical from Cedar City — and Utah altogether — in 1986 when a fellow MPA student suggested he consider a position in California.
Holman and his wife, Kaye, felt at the time it would be a good experience, so they moved to Visalia where he took a job as a management analyst. He eventually moved into the position of Human Resource Manager for the city.
Visalia was a community of around 80,000, with more than 400 employees working for the city full-time.
“Moving to Visalia was wonderful experience for our family and fantastic career opportunity,” Holman said. “It gave me a broader perspective of how a larger city provides services to the public.”
In 1992, an opportunity came open in Cedar City for the position of Assistant City Manager. He applied, and after six years of living in Visalia, Holman returned home to continue serving the people of Southern Utah.
Since then, Holman has worked as the Assistant City Manager, Administrative Services Director, Public Works Director and finally this last position as City Manager.
“When we moved back to Cedar City, we knew this is where we wanted to raise our family,” Holman said. “I consider myself very fortunate to have spent the majority of my career with a great organization. I will miss the daily interaction with wonderful employees whom I consider my friends.”
Holman said he and his wife have other things they would like to do, and now is a good time for the change.
“The mayor and city council are doing good things,” he said. “The next city manager has a great group to work with.”
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