By Kathy Jefcoats
FOREST PARK — After a cumulative 19 years as city manager, John Parker will retire effective June 28.
Parker, 75, was most recently city manager for the past seven years. However, his background also includes law enforcement and 30 years in the military as an explosives and projectile specialist and military intelligence.
Parker is also a member of Mensa, a prestigious worldwide organization whose 110,000 members includes only those whose IQs are in the top 2 percent of the population.
He and his wife, Frankie, have lived in Forest Park since April 1980. Parker joked Friday about how he would be spending his free time.
"I'm a little bit behind in my fishing," he said. "And I'm sure I have a whole list of 'honey-do' jobs that will take a great deal of my time for a while."
Parker's retirement comes on the heels of the firing by city council members of city attorneys Robert Mack and Joe Harris, retirement of Public Works Director Mike Gippert and the announcement Monday of the replacement of Elections Superintendent Darnell Moorer.
After the attorneys were fired in May, there was such widespread speculation that Parker would be next that the next meeting was packed with his supporters. However, Parker had only positive things to say Friday about the city of Forest Park.
"I appreciate the elected leadership of the city of Forest Park for allowing me to serve them and the citizens of Forest Park," he said. "This was a rewarding position where I was able to help people further mature and improve their quality of life the citizens may have in the city of Forest Park."