Town of Brookfield — It's just that time.
After more than 13 years at the helm of the town of Brookfield, town administrator Rick Czopp has announced his intention to retire.
Czopp started in Brookfield in 2003 after having previously served as administrator in the village of Bristol.
"In March I'll be 65 and it was just that time. I've had a good, long career and the time has come," Czopp said.
In total, Czopp has worked in public administration for 39 years. His last day on the job will be Feb. 28, after which he and his wife of 45 years, Cathy, plan to travel.
"It's time to get away from this winter. Hopefully this will be the last time we see winter for a while," Czopp said. "I think this year we'll probably go down to Florida."
While he will be technically retired, Czopp is excited to see the opening of The Corners, which is scheduled for March.
"I feel really great with The Corners going through. That's probably been my biggest accomplishment and it's been great working with the (town) board, Marcus and Bradford," Czopp said referring to The Marcus Corporation and Bradford Real Estate. "The Corners is going to be one of the capstones of this area and I feel great to have been a part of it."
Czopp is currently working with the town board as it searches for its first new administrator since George W. Bush's first term.
Town of Brookfield chairman Keith Henderson praised Czopp's fiscal responsibility when producing the community's annual budget as well as his demeanor.
"There are two things that I've really liked about Rick. One was his management style around the office. He was very good at being able to work with people and get the job done," Henderson said. "For a town of our size, for what we've accomplished, I don't think there's any other town like ours that has done as well as we have over the last 13 years."
Thus far, the town has been receiving applications but has not yet interviewed any candidates. Czopp offered his advice on what attributes his replacement should have.
"I think, of course, you've got to have good financial skills. Plus, I think the town is going to be in a redevelopment mode, and so some kind of planning background would be good," Czopp said. "You need someone who gets along well with the employees. We've got a really good staff here."
Czopp effused with crediting those around him with helping him to accomplish his own duties over the last 13 years.
"Out of the 39 years, this has been the best community I've worked for and the best board I've worked with. I'm leaving, but in a way, it's sad leaving because of the great employees and everyone around me," Czopp said. "It sounds like a cliché, of course you love your employees and all that, but it's really true. They've all been great."
Town supervisor Steve Kohlmann agreed with Czopp's assessment of the staff, but credited Czopp with helping them to be such a quality group of employees.
"He's hired really good, capable people for our town departments. He has really been able to keep everything running very smoothly," Kohlmann said. "We're going to miss him."