Douglas City Manager Curtis Shook retired after five years of service on June 29.
One of Curtis Shook's last duties as City Manager for Douglas was to speak at last week's dedication ceremony. Shook officially retired June 29. Bruce Whetten/Douglas Dispatch
Before coming to Douglas he had over 21 years of experience in city management. He left city management in 2002 to become an investment banker with Arizona banking firm Peacock, Hislop, Staley and Given. He was with them for five and a half years.
When dating his current wife Sylvia, who was born and raised in Douglas, he would visit Douglas on weekend and holidays.
“During that time I got to know Douglas really well…. I came too really like Douglas,” he said.
Shook had really enjoyed the profession of public service and accepted the position of City Manager June 2007, when then City Manager Michael Ortega stepped down.
“I can’t image anything more rewarding then helping make a place a better place for people to live, work and play,” he said. “I like to think I was a part of making Douglas a little better.”
Although in the past three years he felt things became very acrimonious, “Things got turned from ‘we’ into ‘I’ that had a real delegatory effect as far as political leadership, the city really did not have any real leadership at its top position for two to three years and that was very unfortunate,” he said.
There were times he felt that they were accomplishing things but had to wonder how much more they could have accomplished in different circumstances.
“It’s a good time to leave, we have accomplished many things, it’s time for someone else to take over and to take the city to the next step,” he said.
One of Shook’s major accomplishments while working for the City of Douglas was the restoration of PD Mercantile and several surrounding Government Center properties for parking.
Shook feels that the city has an excellent chance to make very positive and progressive move forward both with the hiring of Carlos Del La Torre as the new City Manager and Mayor Danny Ortega Jr.
“I think the two of them could be an important part of leading a team of individuals and bringing the city back to being an absolute team,” he said. “Today is the day that I retire and I have been looking forward to it for some time. I’m fortunate to be able to do it. I’m able enjoy my next phase in life, for Sylvia and I. It’s time for us to be selfish about us I am very much looking forward to it.”