City manager announces retirement after 25 years in Coppell


Hannah Tucker

Coppell City Manager Clay Phillips confirms his leaving of the city council during the closing of Tuesday’s meeting in City Hall. After the meeting concluded, various attendees of the meeting and fellow city council members shook hands and expressed their regrets in the matter of his leaving. Photo by Hannah Tucker.

Lili Lomas, Staff Writer

“Dang it.”


That was Mayor Karen Hunt’s response to her colleague’s announcement of retirement during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.


During the scheduled time for public service announcements at the end of the meeting, Coppell city manager Clay Phillips concluded with an announcement of his retirement, creating a sentimental mood among the mayor and other council members.


“The time has come for me to find something else to do,” Phillips said. “This is as much a spiritual thing as it is a practical thing and I just have a sense that God is asking me to do something else and I don’t think he’s going to tell me what it is until I let go of the sure thing I’ve got my hands around.”


Phillips began his career in Coppell as fire chief in 1991 and worked his way up the ranks of municipal government jobs until being appointed city manager eight years ago. He is set to retire March 31.


A 1978 Coppell High School graduate, he is not sure what is next for him career-wise but hopes he has left a positive legacy at the city.


“We have stood on the shoulders of the people who came before us and I only hope that we are leaving the shoulders for those that follow us to stand on,” Phillips said.


Other items covered at the meeting were the repeal of the no smoking ordinance in public businesses. It is to be replaced by an ordinance allowing businesses, such as restaurants to decide whether they allow smoking on the patio. Also, a $2 million liability insurance was established for provision of transit services for senior citizens in Coppell.


The meeting concluded in applause and a standing ovation for Philips as both council members and citizens showed their gratitude for his 25 years with the City of Coppell.