‘Servant leader’ ready for new role

Incoming city manager wants to do ‘what’s best for Yukon’

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Tammy Kretchmar

By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

Describing herself as a “servant leader”, Tammy Kretchmar is committed to doing what’s best for Yukon when she begins her new role.

A 25-year Yukon city employee, Kretchmar will succeed Jim Crosby as city manager after Crosby retires Jan. 22.

Having served as assistant city manager since 2010, she will ascend to the City of Yukon’s top spot after the city council unanimously selected her over seven other candidates.

“I am a servant leader,” Kretchmar shared. “I want to serve the public – our residents and our employees. Being a government entity, it is my responsibility to do what’s best for the community.

“That’s what my goal is – to make the best decisions that I can and do what’s best for the City of Yukon.”

Yukon’s incoming city manager appreciates the city council for their trust in her. She’s thrilled with the opportunity to serve in this post leading the local government.

As city manager, Kretchmar plans to continue promoting Yukon’s retail growth.

“With the completion of the Frisco Road interchange, we will have a great opportunity to increase our economic development,” she said.

“I want to continue to improve our infrastructure and continue to improve our park system. Every City department has needs that we will try to meet.”

As the City’s new chief administrator, Kretchmar also wants to enhance the quality of life of Yukon’s 26,000 residents.

Being able to present the City of Yukon’s special programs and festivals – often not possible in 2020 – will help achieve that goal.

“COVID, being the way that it is, has really put a halt on a lot of city events that we have,” she noted. “We need to get back to some normalcy, and for us, that is hosting our events and being able to provide entertainment and activities for the community.”

FOR THE EMPLOYEES

Having worked for the City of Yukon since 1995, Kretchmar is well acquainted with the City’s 300-plus employees. She wants to see improved employee morale and is counting on their support during her tenure.

“The best resource that we have is our employees,” Kretchmar said. “We need to do the best that we can for them.”

The incoming city manager will rely on her background with the City of Yukon as she prepares to assume her new position.

“The experience that I’ve had here will make it much easier, as opposed to someone coming in from the outside,” Kretchmar said. “I’m familiar with the operations, the employees, the projects, and everything that has happened here in the last 25 years.

“There are so many great things that have happened in the City of Yukon that I believe should be continued because they’ve improved the quality of life here.”

Christmas in the Park – which debuted as a modest light display 25 years ago – is one prime example.

Kretchmar began working for the City of Yukon in 1995 for the parks and recreation department at the community center. The next year she transferred to the administration department at city hall.

She’s gained valuable experience working alongside Crosby, Yukon’s longtime city manager, for much of her career.

“Jim has done great things for the City of Yukon,” Kretchmar said. “He has a wealth of knowledge and there’s no way I could have gotten that from anyone else.”

Yukon has had three full-time city managers in the past 30 years – Stan Greil, Grayson Bottom and Crosby.

Kretchmar served several months as interim city manager in late 2015 and early 2016.

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TURNING CORNERS

2020 produced economic uncertainty due to the virus, and Yukon’s incoming city leader looks forward to turning the corner.

“We have great challenges right now with COVID,” Kretchmar shared. “Although the vaccine has come out, there are numerous people who do not feel safe taking the vaccine.

“With people not wanting to get the vaccine, it’s just going to continue to spread. It’s evident what COVID has done to our economy.”

Despite business shutdowns and reductions this year, Yukon’s sales tax collections have increased 2% over last year. That’s something Kretchmar would be “very happy” to sustain for the rest of the 2020-21 fiscal year.

A separate economic challenge has come from retail growth is areas just outside Yukon city limits that take sales tax revenue away from the City of Yukon.

“Oklahoma City continues to actively provide competitive retail establishments on our boundary lines,” Kretchmar noted.

“We are going to have to be more competitive and try to reach out to retailers to create more opportunities for them to locate in our city limits.”

It took Yukon City Council members several lengthy executive sessions to choose the new city manager – and they didn’t have to look far to find Crosby’s successor. After 25 years of service to the City of Yukon, the wait is worth it for their selection.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me – citizens, city employees and civic leaders,” Kretchmar concluded. “It’s really meant a lot.

“I just want to do the best job I can do for the citizens of Yukon.”