Brownwood City Manager Bobby Rountree announced during Tuesday’s city council meeting he would be retiring in a little more than three months. Rountree quietly headed to his office after the meeting and discussed the decision to retire June 23, which also happens to be his 66th birthday.

“I have told employees over the years that only you will know when it’s time to retire,” Rountree said. “I know it’s time.”

Several factors played into the decision, with family topping the list. “I have three grandsons who are 10, 4 and 2,” Rountree said. “They live in Mansfield and I am not going to miss their activities. If they are playing a little league game on Tuesday night, I want to be able to drive to Mansfield and watch them.”

Rountree also cited other reasons, such as spending more time working with his registered Angus cows in Mills County and working on his home. “I just want to relax and not worry when the phone rings about what might have happened.”

Brownwood is in a good position, Rountree said. “We have good employees. There will be some transitions inside the organization, but that is something we knew was going to happen. There is never a good time for anyone to retire, but we have good people in Brownwood.”

Working in the municipal field for more than four decades, Rountree graduated from Texas Tech University in 1971 and began his career with Baytown in 1972, where he served as parks and recreation director, assistant city manager and city manager. “I retired from the city of Baytown when I was 50 years-old,” Rountree explained. Upon retirement, Rountree moved back to his hometown of Goldthwaite. “I swore I would never go to another city council meeting,” Rountree said.

After a nine-month stint as the interim human resources director for the city of Stephenville, Rountree did, once again, attend city council meetings, becoming the city manager for Goldthwaite in 2001. “I decided I wasn’t really ready to retire,” Rountree said.

Rountree was hired for the same position in Brownwood in 2007. “Brownwood has been really good for me,” Rountree said. “I have been here for about eight years now and have really enjoyed it. It has been useful to be able to live in and run a bigger city.”

Rountree said he will take direction from the city council when the time comes to begin the search for a new city manager.

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Rick Phelps is news director at KOXE.