A long-time presence in Manhattan’s finance department is in his final week of work before retirement.

Chief Financial Officer Bernie Hayen is leaving Manhattan after a 19 and a half year stint in the city’s employment. Altogether, City Manager Ron Fehr estimates Hayen has served the city for more than 30 years, rivaling his time teaching business and finance part-time at Kansas State University.

He first announced his retirement at a January meeting of the Manhattan City Commission. Fehr took time to recognize Hayen at the start of Tuesday’s commission meeting.

“We wanted to take this opportunity […] to offer our congratulations and wish him the best in his retirement as he moves on to a new chapter,” Fehr says.

Mayor Usha Reddi says the city has enjoyed Hayen’s expertise over the past couple decades and thanked him for his service.

“Hopefully you enjoy retirement and not get too busy,” says Reddi. “Sometimes retirement gets far busier than your regular job.”

Commissioner Linda Morse echoed Reddi, also questioning how much Hayen will slow down.

“It is a new chapter for you, I don’t know if you’re really going to retire, but it’s an opportunity anyway,” Morse says. “We wish you well.”

Hayen told the commission it’s been his pleasure to serve, though says it’s been bittersweet to depart as the city grapples with a challenging budget process as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on Manhattan’s finances.

“The thing I think I am optimistic about is you couldn’t ask for a better city staff to deal with those than the one you have,” Hayen says. “I wish all of you the very best and hope to see each of you individually in the near future.”

Hayen was confident the city will be able to traverse the rough fiscal waters ahead with the help of administrative personnel.

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