By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 09/26/13, 6:36 PM PDT |

ONTARIO >> Chris Hughes, the city manager for the past three years who has been at the helm of the battle for local control of L.A./Ontario International Airport – announced Thursday he will retire in December.

In his brief memo to staff, with the subject line: “retirement,” Hughes does not indicate his reason for retiring and wasn’t available for comment.

“It has been a great honor to serve you, our employees and the residents of this great city as city manager,” Hughes wrote.

In January 2010, Hughes filled the vacancy left by Greg Devereaux when he was appointed San Bernardino County’s chief executive officer.

Hughes’ appointment came as a surprise to some. Hughes, a 25-year city employee, had been Ontario’s fire chief.

“When we hired Chris, he was the perfect complement to the then-departing Greg Devereaux,” Mayor Paul Leon said. “His service to the city has been stellar for 25 years. His representation as a firefighter, fire chief and city manager has been second to none.

Leon said Hughes created a seamless transition. The outgoing city manager is well liked, and Leon referred to the news as a sad day for Ontario.

“We will deeply miss his professionalism, expertise and leadership,” the mayor said, “especially when it comes to his people skills and his outstanding knowledge during negotiations on behalf of the city.”

During his three years as city manager, Ontario has maintained a balanced budget while having to reduce services.

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