Outgoing Tucson City Manager Miranda: Proud of legacy - Tucson News Now

Outgoing Tucson City Manager Miranda: Proud of legacy, favors local replacement

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson's city manager is talking, for the first time, about why he's resigning.

Richard Miranda announced his retirement last week, after serving Tucson for nearly 40 years.

Miranda is one of the most powerful people in city government.

He announced his retirement in a two-paragraph letter to the mayor and council.

Tuesday we got to learn more.

"I was born and raised here and my plans are to stay here the rest of my life," Miranda says. "I can honestly say, there's no place like home." @

That was Richard Miranda's answer to our final question during our interview with him at Tucson City Hall, but it sums up all his other answers about Tucson, his love for his city and what he believes his legacy is.

Miranda has been city manager for three years.

Before that he was a police officer who rose in the ranks to police chief.

After nearly 40 years in public service, the 61-year old says he and his family have decided it's time for him to retire.

During a tumultuous time for the city, two city managers had been fired before Miranda was hired to take over.

Miranda says he has met his personal goals and objectives for the job, including bringing stability to, what he calls, the organization.

"There was an issue of stability. There was an issue of question of process, transparency. And bringing trust and confidence in the manager of the city, was one that I wanted to accomplish," Miranda says.

"We're finishing up the streetcar project. You look at downtown, it's revitalized. It's re-invigorated. The Prop. 409--when we're going to go about and fix our streets up. And that was really a vote of confidence," he says.

It has been a tough budget process this year, with disagreements over how to deal with major issues.

Asked if he was asked to resign or if he had heard any hints about resigning, Miranda says, "No."

"In fact, there was a couple that tried to talk me out of it. I feel very confident that the mayor and council was going to be supportive of a few more years of my administration," Miranda says.

When it comes to his successor, Miranda says there's a certain kind of person he'd like to see take over, and that means hiring from within rather than bringing in someone from outside.

This is where we get back to that hometown boy who grew up here and will stay here.

"The X's and O's of being a city manager--there are many people that can do that, but I think that when we start looking for who we want to lead the organization, who you want to be cooperating and dialoguing and communicating with other agencies and other communities, you want someone who has that look in their eye that says, "You know, I love my town. I love my community and I'm working for them,'" Miranda says.

Miranda's resignation is effective July 31st.

It's believed the mayor and council will appoint an interim city manager to fill in until they can find a permanent successor.

Miranda says he favors any one of this three assistant city managers for the job.

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