Kitchens announces plan to retire as city manager April 6

Published 5:45 pm Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spending time with family during the holidays helped put life in perspective for Jerome Kitchens.

After five years on the job as Elizabethton City Manager, Kitchens announced via email Thursday evening his intention to retire April 6. Kitchens was named interim manager in 2013 following the retirement of former manager Fred Edens Jr. City Council went through a selection process following Edens Jr.’s retirement and elected to remove the interim title from Kitchens.

In a letter address to City Council members, Kitchens was quick to thank the city employees for their work during his time at the position.

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“I would like to take this last opportunity to thank the city employees for the hard work they do that makes this city a great place to work. We can always do better but that is just the definition of improvement and my wish for all is steady improvement over time,” Kitchens stated in the letter.

Kitchens indicated it was during the Christmas season that he decided it was time to move forward to another chapter in his life.

“This past Christmas I took off between Christmas day and New Year’s Day and spent some quality time with my family. This break made me focus on what should be the next step in my life. After some intense review of my options I decided that full retirement would be possible. There will never be a time when I have enough money to not worry but there also will never be a way to recover time that I could be spending with my family,” Kitchens stated.

The city manager also took time to reminisce on the position he’s been able to hold in his hometown.

“When I applied for this position I was cautioned that it would be a hard job. That is true but it has still been worth my effort and the positives of the people I work with and the progress that the city has made far outweighs the challenges,” he said.

City Council is scheduled to meet March 8.