Wednesday, July 22, 2020
City Manager Mark Latham has announced he will retire from his position with the City of Highland effective Friday, November 13, 2020. Mr. Latham started work as Highland’s City Manager on May 16, 2005. While this wasn’t his first job as a City Manager, his move to Highland brought Mark and his family back to his wife’s home town.
An interesting fact is that he has served only one mayor during his employment in Highland; his employment spanning almost the entire time that Mayor Michaelis has been in office, he now being the longest-serving mayor in Highland’s history.
Mark Latham has been in public service for 44 years. Reflecting on his career, here in Highland, he believes it has been a good experience. When asked, he is hesitant to list accomplishments, saying instead that, “It takes a team.” While this is true, good teams need good leaders and City Manager Latham has been that. While always following the direction established for the city by the elected officials, some of the higher profile projects that have been accomplished under Mark’s leadership are:
- The city’s fiber system, Highland Communication Services
- Projects that have made the city more walkable, including:
- Development of the trail system
- Replacement of miles of deteriorated sidewalks, and
- Addition of the Broadway sidewalk extension
- Parking lots added to downtown at the library and at Walnut & Main
- Safeguards to a quality water supply, including:
- Improvements to the city’s water treatment plant
- Reconstruction of the Silver Lake low level outlet works
- Water main improvements, and
- The Silver Lake boat ramp and storage building
- Storm water collection system upgrades including on 6th Street
- Transportation system projects, including:
- Northeast and northwest quadrants of the peripheral route
- Falcon & Quail connector streets
- Phase II of the Poplar Street widening and resurfacing
- Intersection improvements at US Hwy 40 at Hemlock Street and the signalization of that intersection which is currently underway
- Troxler Avenue pavement restoration
- Sportsman Road reconstruction
- Broadway / Iberg / Veterans Honor Parkway Roundabout
- Broadway Streetscape, on which construction will begin soon
- Construction of HACSM Food Pantry Facility
- Construction of the Veterans’ Memorial Wall
City Manager Latham offers thanks to the elected officials, city staff, citizens, businesses, and civic organizations in Highland for working together to accomplish all the important projects that make Highland such a wonderful place to work and live. It is this sense of community spirit, found in so many, that make the difference between living in Highland and anywhere else.
Part of being a good leader is arranging for a smooth transition when the time comes to pass the torch. City Manager Latham is looking forward to the next phase in his life. Before he goes, he will be sharing his knowledge with Highland’s Public Safety Director, Christopher Conrad, who will be serving as Assistant City Manager until after the local election next April. The elected officials will then have the task of hiring someone to the position of City Manager.