AURORA | The city’s top administrator is ending his seven-year stint as city manager. Skip Noe announced Tuesday he is retiring as of Nov. 1.
Noe told the Aurora Sentinel the decision to leave was his own and feels that the timing is right.
Noe is expecting a grandchild and wants to spend more time with his daughter and son-in-law, both artists in New York.
He said he feels he leaves the city in solid shape and after completing a variety of vital projects.
There’s “always more to do,” Noe said, adding that, despite that, he feels accomplished and satisfied with his tenure.
“Together and with our community partners, we have also been able to stimulate and support an unprecedented level of economic investment in our community by the private sector including transformative projects like Gaylord, Amazon, Stanley Marketplace, the R Line, Fitzsimons Campus developments and so many more,” Noe said in a letter about his retirement decision to a group of city staff.
Mayor Steve Hogan said the announcement came as a surprise, but having been the city manager for nearly seven years “shows talent and ability on (Noe’s) part to keep things moving.”
“He was the lead staff person on a number of projects,” Hogan said. “He helped lead the city coming out of the Great Recession. He certainly helped steer things after the theater shooting.”
Under Noe, Hogan said the city also saw rapid growth and strong job creation.
Noe’s announcement also comes after years of a divided city council on Noe’s performance and his role in city government.
Two years ago, Noe faced sexism allegations from five women city council members who attempted to place a vote of no confidence against Noe, but that vote failed.
Later, on the condition of anonymity, some council members told the Sentinel there have been at least three attempts at ousting Noe from his city manager position, who previously served as the city manager in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“Certainly, over the last couple of years there was turbulence. But I think through it all Skip would have not stayed city manager if he did not have the majority of council,” Hogan said. “The turbulence was coming from a minority. I think relationship issues are more on the backs of the individual council members.”
Councilwoman Barbara Cleland, a vocal critic of Noe, said his announcement is in a sense the end of an era for the city, and with at least the election of three new council members “it’ll be a different start for the council next year.”
It’s unclear at this point who the interim city manager will be or how the next city manager may be chosen. Replacing Noe will be up to city council, said city communications director Kim Stuart.
“I think people often forget the job of Aurora city manager is one of the most attractive city manager jobs in the country,” Hogan said. “There are only roughly 53 cities larger than Aurora. Many of them are a strong mayor form of government. Filling this position will attract a lot of talent.”
Noe’s last day with the city will be Nov. 1, but said he and his wife Laura will remain in Aurora after his retirement. Noe said he plans on staying active and involved in Aurora issues, but he’s undecided at this time how.