Owen Sound's City Manager Wayne Ritchie retires Friday after more than 30 years in the public service.
Born and raised in Owen Sound, Ritchie worked for the Owen Sound Public Utilities Commission for 11 years before working for the City for the following 19 years in various positions including treasurer and manager of capital projects.
He's been City manager since 2015.
Mayor Ian Boddy says, "What he accomplished in the last five years as City Manager is pretty remarkable. A lot went through that would not have gone through if he wasn't the City Manager."
Boddy credits Ritchie with completing the infrastructure for Sydenham heights, "He was definitely a catalyst in that and he was definitely a catalyst in the community flagpole going up at City Hall," says Boddy.
He says a service review a few years ago that saved about $800,000 was Ritchie's initiative as was removing the downtown parking metres and reorganizing the Downtown Improvement Area.
When asked what stands out to him the most, Wayne Ritchie says renovating City Hall was a big one, "The downtown river precinct I think, is another one that i hope will stand the test of time and will get full use," he adds, "But I don't think it's projects specifically, it's more the people. The people I've worked with, the employees and council, but also ratepayer. I've had some very interesting and great conversations with all of them."
So far, Ritchie is looking to relax in retirement, "I have no real plans, I'm just going to take it easy, do some work around the house get better at golf and curling, I think."
When Asked what he'd like to see for the City's future, Ritchie says "Growth is important to all municipalities," he adds
"Owen Sound is a great place to be an I think the rest of the province is realizing that, so I hope it will see growth, that would be wonderful."