MIAMI — Miami City Manager Dean Kruithof officially announced his retirement at the city council meeting Tuesday evening — although it will not take place immediately.

“A lot of people when they hear the news will wonder if something is wrong,” Kruithof said. “Actually, just the opposite is the truth. I am very happy and very proud of our group that we have at city hall right now. Our department heads and employees and the work they are doing. When you look at the city, it’s a marathon not a sprint. I think we’ve made a lot of progress, but there is still a lot to be done and we are trying to lay the foundation for what needs to be done.”

Kruithof brought more than 30 years of government management experience to Miami in 2014, including from his time as city administrator for the City of Branson, Missouri.

He came prepared to tackle challenges facing Miami with plans to emphasize public participation on future growth and its design. Before his time in Branson, Kruithof served as deputy city administrator at Fort Smith, Arkansas.

“All that being equal, I looked at my life. My wife lives in northwest Arkansas and I have fewer days ahead of me than I do behind me and I want to spend more of those days with her,” Kruithof said.

“I cherish everybody here that I work with. I have so much respect for our city council,” he said. ‘They have done so much good work, Mayor Rudy Schultz especially. I can honestly say from a personal standpoint that I have probably been more satisfied from a career standpoint, and happier, in Miami than any place I’ve ever been.”

“Dean is not quite out the door yet, as he will still be on the job for several months, but when he does leave for good he will be sorely missed,” Schultz said.

Kruithof’s wife, Cynthia, is director of human resources for the Arvest Bankgroup in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Dean Kruithof is a 1975 graduate of Miami High School who went on to graduate from Northeast Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) and Oklahoma State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration.

“Dean came out of retirement to return to his hometown of Miami as the city manager and he has done an outstanding job these last five years,” Schultz said. “His focus on putting systems in place that emphasize best practices in all aspects of city operations is a legacy that will continue to pay dividends long after he is gone. I wish him the best of luck in his second retirement.”

“The only constant in life is change and I think this is a good time to make that change, both for Miami and for me. I’m still a Wardog and this is still my hometown. My wife and I built a life in Arkansas long before I ever dreamt of coming here to work. And I never for a nanosecond regretted it. Time is a finite thing and I think this is a really good time to make a change, a transition,” Dean Kruithof said.

“I think the next city manager is going to be incredibly fortunate to inherit a really good staff and city council and will be able to continue the work forward.

“This has been in the works for about four months. It was not an immediate decision and we haven’t set a date yet. This was just the right time to make the announcement. I will be here as long as they need me. This will always be my hometown and I will always love it,” Kruithof said.