New Market manager to retire Sept. 15

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

NEW MARKET — New Market’s town manager is retiring after 28 years of service – but he doesn’t plan on spending his golden years being idle.

On Aug. 1, Mike Ritchie announced his resignation to Mayor Doug Bradley and Town Council. The announcement is effective Sept. 30, but he plans to use vacation time before he leaves, making his last day Sept. 15, he said.

Ritchie, 55, grew up in Rockingham County and attended Broadway High School. He started working for New Market as an equipment operator at the old wastewater treatment plant in 1989.

He was promoted to wastewater superintendent, then became the town’s public works director in 2007.

He was named town manager in July 2014 after his predecessor, Evan Vass, left to become Shenandoah County’s assistant county administrator.

Ritchie plans to return to the water and sewer industry in some capacity after he leaves Town Hall, he said on Wednesday.

“I’m not going to go sit on the porch,” he said. “I want to be a benefit to other smaller systems.”

By his own account, Ritchie’s most memorable achievement with the town was helping to open the old wastewater treatment plant in 1989, then assisting in taking it offline after the town connected to Broadway’s plant in 2008.

“How many people can say that?” he said. “New Market has been good to me. I had a good career here, but I’m looking forward to the next phase, too.”

Since New Market has no assistant town manager, council will hire an interim manager while searching for a permanent replacement, Bradley said on Wednesday.

“It’s a big loss to the town,” he said. “We wish Mike the very best. He’s done a terrific job.”

The town released an advertisement calling for applications on Friday, Ritchie said. Submissions will be accepted until Sept. 1.

The salary range is between $60,000 and $80,000 per year, according to the ad.

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