After 40 years with the city government, Laurel Parks and Recreation Director Michael Lhotsky announced his retirement Wednesday, effective March 31.
In 1976, Lhotsky began his career with the city as a senior recreation leader, joining the team right out of college. Lhotsky said he worked his way up through the city administration while he and his wife raised their family, later earning the Parks and Recreation director title in 2001.
After the November election, when the mayor and city council members were all re-elected, Lhotsky said he began thinking more about retirement, finding it appropriate before the summer season begins.
"There's a little bit of apprehension," Lhotsky said. "You're doing something for a long time [and] working for a long time and there's a little bit of change coming. I'm certainly leaving with very fond feelings and memories of everyone I work with, the city and the administration."
In a statement released by city spokeswoman Audrey Barnes, Mayor Craig Moe said Lhotsky's work with the city showed his skills as a "team leader and an innovative planner."
"Mike has developed strong relationships with citizens, citizen groups, city committees, city businesses, as well as with his peers and co-workers," Moe said in the statement. "Mike will be missed by many."
Barnes said Moe plans to fill Lhotsky's position by mid-April, which will require the council's confirmation.