Eagan City Administrator Tom Hedges, who was hired at age 27 as the city's first administrator and has served for 36 years, on Wednesday announced he plans to retire in February.
Hedges steered the city through decades of residential and commercial development and oversaw construction of the city's municipal center.
Eagan was incorporated as a village in 1972 and designated as a city in 1974. The south-metro suburb is now Minnesota's ninth-largest city by population, with 64,206 residents.
City Council members reluctantly accepted the retirement.
"You will be sorely missed," Council Member Paul Bakken said. "There is so much of you in Eagan." Hedges helped to "created the Eagan culture and the Eagan way," Bakken said.
Mayor Mike Maguire said: "You, more than any other person, made Eagan."
Hedges thanked the city of St. Peter for giving him his first city administrator's job at age 23. And he thanked his wife for her support with the long hours required by city management.
"The work of the public is never done," Hedges said, quoting one of his favorite phrases. "My focus for the next four to five months will be on tasks at hand."
Council members voted to hire the Brimeyer Fursman executive search firm to help the city find a new administrator.