Long-serving city manager for OKC to announce retirement 

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OKCTalk has learned that James D. Couch, city manager for Oklahoma City, plans to issue a press release later today announcing his retirement.

Couch was appointed November 9, 2000, making him the longest-serving OKC city manager by a wide margin.

Of the previous 35 predecessors, the average tenure is 2.5 years and the longest had been under 7.

In addition to managing the city's 4,600 employees and $1.1 billion budget, Couch also serves on several city-related boards and agencies including the airport trust, water utilities trust, zoo trust, and economic development trust.

The city manager serves at the discretion of the city council, yet Couch has been in the position for such an extended period that no current council members were involved in his appointment.

Couch has also handpicked most of the highest level positions at City Hall.

Before his appointment, Couch served as assistant city manager for 2.5 years and water/wastewater utilities director for 11 years, bringing his tenure with the city to close to 30 years.

No specific reasons were given for the decision and a press release is expected later today.

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