ABILENE, Texas -

After more than 12 years with the city of Abilene, City Manager Larry Gilley on Monday announced plans to retire, effective Oct. 17.

Gilley has served in that capacity since June 2002.

“For the past 12 years, I have had the honor of serving as city manager for this great city,” Gilley said in a news release.

Gilley praised his city council colleagues, city staff and residents “who truly care about how its city government can positively affect the community’s quality of life.”

According to Gilley, his decision to retire was difficult.

“For more than 38 years, much of my life has been centered on my career in city management,” Gilley said in the release. “However, I believe the time has come for me to move on to other pursuits. I know that as I leave this position, the city is in good hands to move forward with the many positive projects currently in the works.”

Mayor Norm Archibald said Gilley has served the city in a “very outstanding, professional way.”

“He (Gilley) has been a great leader for the city of Abilene and he will be sorely missed,” Archibald said. “I was hoping he would not retire for a while, but I do respect his decision to retire at this time and wish him all the best.”

Before coming to Abilene, Gilley served as city manager in San Marcos for nearly 14 years. He also has served as city manager in Bovina and Panhandle.