09/24/2011: "King Fitch Announces His Retirement"
"With mixed emotions, today I submitted and Mayor Lacher has accepted my Notice of Intention to retire from my position as Town Administrator."
With that announcement the King Fitch era of Town improvement, transparency, and progress over the past twenty-four years comes to an end; and a new period will begin.
Town Administrator Fitch submitted his Notice of Intention to retire early next year, and Mayor Carrie Lacher announced "Mr. Fitch's dedication, knowledge, and expertise have been critical to ensuring the well being of this Town. His daily presence will be sorely missed."
Fitch was a building inspector for the Town when then Mayor Jim Cahail asked him to replace the out going administrator. Fitch inherited an administration that was working to make improvements, both in how the Town was administered, and in how the citizens of the town and San Juan Island viewed the Town.
Fitch proved to be an excellent choice, showing an ability to continue, and add to, the progress of the Town, and to do so without upsetting staff or elected officials.
Mayor Lacher stated in her announcement that: "Among Mr. Fitch's many significant accomplishments for the Town include securing water rights for the Town's future growth, facilitating implementation of the Growth Management Act, merging the Island fire departments, and overseeing several major public works projects including the recent replacement of the submarine sewer line."
"Council members, residents, local business owners, staff and crew all have benefited from and rely on King's steadying hand at the tiller," noted Mayor Lacher. Adding: "Mr. Fitch can be proud of his achievements and the legacy of his tenure with the Town."
As for Mr. Fitch, one can indeed believe as he stated in his letter to the Mayor: "As you can imagine, after more than twenty five years of service with the Town, this has not been an easy decision for me but one that I believe best serves the future needs of the Town.
I have had the privilege to serve at the pleasure of five honorable Mayors that have bestowed upon me their complete trust to manage the day-to-day operations of this wonderful Town. Without their support I could not have accomplished the many challenges that presented themselves during my tenure with the Town."
And with a nod to those he served, and to those who served him, he stated: "In addition to having supportive Mayors, I have also enjoyed the trust of Councils past and present, not to mention a professional staff and dedicated crew that more often than not made my efforts and accomplishments appear better than they really were. I thank you one and all.
Most of all I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my family for their continued support during the past twenty five years. I could have not done it without them."
The position of town administrator is an appointed position, and serves at the will of the Mayor. The first steps in replacing Mr. Fitch have already begun as the "Mayor and the Administrator are currently working on a strategy and time line for the upcoming transition period."
We wish King and Mrs. Fitch, who was always in attendance at Town Council meetings, all the best, and thank them both for their service.