MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Mankato City Manager Patrick Hentges announced he will retire by the end of the year.
He has held his current role since 1996.
“Nearly 25 years with the city, so it certainly will be a change, but it’s something I’m looking forward to,” he said.
Hentges was involved in several projects during his time as city manager, including creating the city’s first strategic plan.
“Well when I started, there really was a strong desire I think in the part of the community for the city to grow,” he said. ”The first focus was really to develop a consensus of a vision and direction for the city among the city council members, so it was very internally focused, and then from there we expanded to capture really what the community really desired of Mankato.”
During his time as city manager, Hentges also had a role in developing Riverfront Park.
“I think that’s a unique one, but there’s a strong interest in our strategic plans to make the river more accessible. Riverfront Park was one of the last opportunities to open up and get access to the river,” he said.
Hentges is also credited with helping revitalize the City Center.
“As you mentioned, the Renaissance of the downtown, there really was a strong interest in having a prosperous center. I think also, there was a strong interest for us to really step out of our comfort role and be the economic center for southern Minnesota,” he said.
Eric Jones is the co-director at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center, which helps bring in $40-60 million a year.
“You can just look around Mankato and see his fingerprints on just about everything,” Jones said.
Jones has worked with Hentges since 2002.
“He’s been a very strong proponent of the [event center] throughout the years and recognized its value as kind of the rejuvenation of downtown Mankato,” he said.
As Hentges prepares to retire during unprecedented times, he said the community relies on the visions and directions of the city.
“The lingering effects of this pandemic economically is going to slow some things down. Hopefully I’ve put in motion some contingency plans to keep the city moving forward,” he said.
The city will start its search for the next city manager soon.