City Manager Ralph Brugger is retiring from his job after less than nine months in the position.

His retirement is effective April 16.


City Manager Ralph Brugger is retiring from his job after less than nine months in the position.
His retirement is effective April 16.

Brugger said he is retiring to take better care of and spend more time with his wife Adrienne.

“The whole reason we moved to Oklahoma was her health,” he said.

Brugger arrived in Healdton in August 2009, taking over for interim city manager Brian Scribner. The city’s previous permanent city manager, Sherrie Adams, was terminated on June 1, 2009 when the city council declined to renew her contract.

Brugger said his wife has an autoimmune disease that often leaves her bedridden, requiring his help; help he hasn’t had enough time to give in addition to his duties as city manager.

“She needs somebody there,” he said. “Family comes first.”

The family moved to Oklahoma after a doctor recommended that the climate would be beneficial for Adrienne’s health. Brugger said his wife has loved the area since her childhood.

The city manager said he earned retirement after 23 years of service with the Tioga County Conservation District in Pennsylvania. He said he planned to work until he was 60, but at the age of 55 feels he needs to devote all of his time to taking care of his wife.

“None of us ever know how long we have here,” he said. “It’s just time we do that for each other.”

During his short tenure as city manager, Brugger oversaw the beginning of several projects for the town, including the resurfacing of Airport and Hospital Roads and the water line project.

Enforcement of animal licensing ordinances also intensified under his watch.

“It’s nothing flashy,” he said, describing his accomplishments.

The soon-to-be former city manager said he and his wife plan to stay in Healdton, and be active in their church and community.

Mayor Herb Collier would not comment about the search for Brugger’s replacement, but did say that he and the city council wish him and his family the best.

“We understand his decision,” Collier said. “When all the politics is said and done, it all boils down to family.”