UPDATED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 10:22pm
Waco, TX — One of the longest tenured city managers in the state is stepping down after Waco’s Larry Groth announced his retirement on Tuesday.
“I like to travel a lot. I like motorcycles, I like to build stuff," explained Groth. "I want time for my wife and I to enjoy our time. And, I’ve got a lot of grandkids to play with. But I also wanted to pick a time when the organization was right.”
Groth, 61, is calling it quits.
The Waco City Manager of nearly eleven years started as an engineer back in 1980, and has been the brains behind some of the city’s biggest projects since.
“All the things I worked on that I could later see people enjoy have been a lot of fun," said Groth.
"I was involved in the design and construction of the Cameron Park Zoo. In the early days, the streets were in pretty poor shape, but the city council put in a long-term street improvement program that has really made a difference. We were also able to raise Lake Waco seven feet and that was significant over the last two droughts.”
Groth officially leaves in March.
So who should replace him?
“Well, um, somebody better than me," joked Groth. "So, that would be good, but he council will make that decision.”
Waco Mayor Malcolm Duncan Jr. said the city will hire from within, and for good reason.
“We think a lot of what Larry brought to this job and a lot of the things we benefited from was his local knowledge. The first thing a professional firm is going to do is bring us a list of candidates from far away and we’ve had plenty of those- enough of those," said Duncan.
And for Larry, who was born and raised in Waco before serving his hometown for 34 years, can reflect on a job well done.
“That is pretty important to me. That I was able to come in and do this job and hopefully do it pretty well and move the city forward. That’s been important.”