COTTAGE GROVE – City Manager Richard Meyers announced his retirement during the Cottage Grove City Council meeting on Monday, July 10, and the room erupted in applause.
After discussing business from the city manager’s office, Meyers began to monologue about his last item, and the room fell quiet.
“For my last item, as a result of the police chief and everything, I’d like to share with you a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘To laugh often and much: To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded,”’ Meyers said.
“After 36 years of working in local government in Utah, Arizona, and Oregon, I’m proud to say that I have accomplished all the points identified as success by Emerson,” Meyers continued.
Meyers’ last day on Cottage Grove’s city council will be Friday, Sept. 29. October will mark 26 years of Meyers working for the City, and he took some time to reminisce on his time as city manager. He is looking forward to retirement, as he will have the ability to spend more time with his 10 grandchildren.
“I’m not planning on leaving the community. I love it here. We are all so blessed to live in this beautiful community,” Meyers said. “There was a question posed recently: Why did he stay here so long? Referring to me and my 26 years here as City Manager. My simple answer is: Look around. It’s beautiful.”
Meyers brought himself to tears as he passionately yet shakily spoke about his love for the Cottage Grove community.
“There are so many wonderful and beautiful people here that also love their community, and love their neighbors, and unselfishly serve others to make their life and others’ lives better – so many people here wave and say, ‘Hello, how are you?’ and really mean that they want to know,” Meyers said. “Some may say I lack ambition because I didn’t move to a larger city. I say: I found home, and I love it here.”