The City of Rolling Hills Estates will soon be saying goodbye to its city manager of nearly three decades, Douglas R. Prichard, who announced his retirement earlier this week.
“It’s a bittersweet feeling to confirm that Doug will be retiring this summer after 29 years as our City Manager and 34 years as a City of Rolling Hills Estates employee,” said Mayor Judy Mitchell. “We are going to miss him tremendously, but he deserves to enjoy his retirement after so many decades of service to our community.”
Prichard, who got his start in local government as a Newport Beach lifeguard, first came to the City of Rolling Hills Estates in 1985 when he was hired as the Assistant City Manager. Five years later, the City Council approved his contract as City Manager and he has been steering the ship ever since.
During his tenure, Prichard has seen some significant changes take place in the City, from the development of the upgraded Peter Weber Equestrian Center to the establishment of Highridge Park and Chandler Preserve. He’s helped navigate the City through two General Plans, witnessed the opening of the George F Canyon Nature Center, helped the City weather a recession, and has even been known to break out his ukulele for official City business when the occasion calls for it.
Prichard, whose last day as City Manager will be July 8, says his fondest memory of his time in RHE will be of the residents.
“We have such a special group of people here,” he said. “They truly care about each other and the health and camaraderie of their community. Events like the Parade of Lights and our Mayor’s Breakfast Ride are testaments to how special a place this is, and I am truly grateful to have had the privilege to spend so much of my career here.”
The avid swimmer is looking forward to spending some quality time in the water where he plans to surf and swim his way through retirement and enjoy the extra family time with his wife, Kathy and adult sons, John and Michael. He is also confident that he is leaving the City in great hands, as current Assistant City Manager Greg Grammer is slated to become City Manager beginning July 9.
Prichard will be formally recognized for his service at the City Council Meeting on June 25 at 7 p.m. in the Rolling Hills Estates City Council Chambers.
All are welcome to attend to wish him luck in this next chapter. Seats are on a first come, first served basis.
—Alexa Davis is the assistant to the city manager