Beaumont City Manager to retire

Photo of Rachel Kersey

Beaumont’s longest-serving city manager will retire spring 2022.

Kyle Hayes made the formal announcement in an open letter published Tuesday evening after the City Council recessed into executive session.

“I have been the longest serving City Manager in the City’s history,” Hayes said in the letter. “Being the City Manager for more than 19 years has been an honor and a great privilege.”

It was August 1993 when Hayes first began working for the city. And nearly ten years later, he became city manager. By the time he retires, he will have spent roughly three decades working to improve the city of Beaumont. His retirement date is tentative. It will fall somewhere between March 31 and April 30, 2022.

“My plan is to retire at the end of March, actually,” Hayes said. “I put that window in there. It gives me a little flexibility. If the council was, say, in the middle of a search, they were getting close to selecting the next city manager, I could stay to the end of April.”

Giving such a large window and over four month’s notice was a professional courtesy that Hayes wanted to provide the new mayor and city council so they could have a smooth transition into their new roles. If nobody can be found before the April deadline, an interim city manager will be appointed until the role can be officially filled.

Hayes has been considering retiring for over a year, but the decision is one he struggled over. However, he is now 100% sure that retirement is the best decision for him — something he wanted to make immediately clear to the city council during executive session lest anyone think his announcement was a ploy to boost his salary.

The last time he tried to retire, the mayor asked him what it would take to stay and after a weekend of consideration, he said that a pay raise would keep him working.

This time, however, he is certain of his decision. In all his years serving as city manager, it wasn’t until last summer that he took off more than one week of vacation time. The role has meant long hours and a never-ending stream of things to do. It hasn’t given him reflective time to consider his next stage in life.

“When you're in this position, you think about a lot of things that you may want to do, but you just don't have the time to go make them happen or enact them,” he said. “There have been real estate projects that have interested me that I've never had the time to go make them happen or traveled to go see certain developments that I'm interested in. Now I have time to do that.”

He is also looking forward to taking longer vacations and checking out international locations he’s never visited. Hayes also is trying to determine whether or not he wants to spend his next chapter in Beaumont or move somewhere else. There are options he is considering, but he hasn’t decided anything concrete yet.

Working with a team of skilled department leaders and accomplishing projects together is what Hayes will miss most. He is proud of the ways the team has made Beaumont a better place to live, but he is also ready to try something new.

“I'm not gonna retire for good and sit at home,” he said. “I'm going to stay busy and try to contribute and continue to try to make a difference not only in my life, but hopefully in other's lives as well.”