After 23 years at the helm of Minnesota’s fifth-biggest city, Bloomington City Manager Mark Bernhardson is retiring at the end of the year.

He recently notified the City Council that he will retire on Dec. 31.

Bloomington is the biggest city in the state with a city manager. Bernhardson, who turns 65 this year, called his position “the best city manager job in the state of Minnesota.”

He said he is proud that the city’s finances have remained strong and that ratings from bond agencies have improved during his tenure.

The Mall of America opened and expanded during his tenure and the city has changed from a car-centric place to one with more transportation choices, he said. He said city communications with residents have improved.

In retirement, he said, he will split his time between Bloomington and San Diego, where he and his wife own a home.

Mary Jane Smetanka