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Steve Cox has been the city's fire chief, city manager, mayoral chief of staff, and Chief of Economic Vitality. Now he's bidding the city adieu and heading off into retirement.
"I'm at the apex of my career," he told the Indy. "I'm at a point where I really haven't had a chance for many, many years to stop and smell the roses."
Cox was considered a bridge for Mayor Steve Bach — a key player who helped settle in the new government, while helping the mayor to understand the complex ways the city functions. Almost since day one, he has been among Bach's closest and most trusted advisors. Cox says he will continue to help Bach with large projects, and will make suggestions on the leadership of his Economic Vitality department before he leaves. But he says he thinks Bach has the right staff to help him lead the city in the future.
"If I thought there wasn't a great team," he says, "I wouldn't leave."
It may seem an odd time for Cox to leave, given that the Waldo Canyon Fire has created plenty of work for his office. But Cox dismisses those concerns, noting that the immediate danger of the fire is out of the way.
The former fire chief also says he's also proud of the way his old department handled the fire, calling it the result of years of planning for a catastrophic event.
"I think what's unprecedented was the amount of time from the start of the fire to when people were able to get back into their homes and start the recovery process," he says.
Cox says he doesn't plan a quiet retirement and will stay active in the community, likely through a combination of volunteer work and paid work — though he says he never plans to "punch a clock" at a traditional job again. Among other things, he hopes to volunteer at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
"I might sign up to drive a bus," he says with a laugh.
Chief of Economic Vitality Steve Cox announces retirement
Steve Cox, who has served the City of Colorado Springs in various senior leadership roles, announced his retirement from the City of Colorado Springs today.
“When Mayor Bach was elected, I told him I would stay for one year. He asked me to reconsider my decision, but I told him, it’s time for me to be with family. I want to spend more time with my wife, my kids and my grandkids. I’ve had a fantastic career with the City, and will miss my colleagues, but my family is excited to have my full attention. I have a tee time with the mayor — and will support him in every way — we’ve become good friends,” Steve Cox said.
Steve Cox began his career with the Colorado Springs Fire Department thirty-one years ago. He rose through the ranks and served as Deputy Fire Chief, Fire Chief and Interim City Manager. In June 2011, Cox became Mayor Steve Bach’s Inaugural Chief of Staff. Then in January 2012, he assumed the position of Chief of Economic Vitality and Innovation. Cox was instrumental in building a consolidated approach for addressing the challenges associated with energizing our local economy. Steve Cox has been a key part of Mayor Bach’s executive team and will long be remembered as one of the very able City executives during the crises of the Waldo Canyon Fire.
“Steve Cox has been instrumental in many of our accomplishments this past year. I hate to see him go and tried to talk him into at least another year. His service to our City was tremendous and truly appreciated. I respect his decision though — Steve deserves time to concentrate on all things family. I’ll miss him, but we’ll be in touch.”
Mr. Cox will consult on large City projects in the future - his retirement is effective July 31, 2012.