Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff announced Sunday evening that he plans to retire after 20 years with the city, the last nine in the top administrative post.
Kiff plans to leave toward the end of 2018.
“I have loved this job and this community a great deal,” he said in a news release. “This is an amazing community to work for, and I have felt honored to do so nearly every day.
“But this is a pretty grueling job, with demanding issues and a resident base that deserves and expects 100% focus. I have to admit that over time that has worn me out a bit.”
Kiff became city manager in September 2009, working on water quality, Newport Bay dredging, the annexations of Newport Coast and Santa Ana Heights, the extension of the city’s noise agreement with John Wayne Airport, pension reform and construction of the Civic Center complex and library.
Kiff praised his city employees — there are about 725 — and his managers, saying the next person in his role will “become the leader of one of the best teams of department heads that I have ever known.”
He also said he wants a smooth transition and will work with city leadership on key issues, including the effort to curb noise and pollution at the airport, before he departs.
Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield praised “Dave’s steady hand at the city’s helm.”
“We remain a community thankful for public service, and we appreciate Dave’s decades of commitment,” Duffield said in a prepared statement.
Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill praised Kiff’s work on pension reform.
Kiff, according to his city bio, joined Newport Beach as assistant to the city manager in 1998. Prior to that he worked for the city of Orange, the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the state Legislature, notably for Marian Bergeson, the first woman to serve in the state Senate and Assembly.
The longtime city manager said he plans to spend time in retirement on issues of importance to him, such as combating homelessness.
“I won’t say goodbye yet, as there are more months ahead of me here, but I will say that all is good,” Kiff said. “I’ll encourage anyone reading this to know that I remain full of optimism for the City’s future and my own.”