By Robby Gal | Coolidge Examiner
Bob Flatley died Tuesday after battling cancer for several months.
News started to trickle in from friends, family and the many people Flatley worked with at the city of Coolidge on social media.
Coolidge Mayor Jon Thompson passed the news on to friends and citizens first on his Facebook page Thursday morning and explained that Flatley had died due to his “battle with cancer on Tuesday.”
“Not only was Bob a good friend of mine, he was an excellent city manager,” Thompson said. “Bob’s experience and demeanor combined to result in a person that citizens, peers and his staff respected.”
Flatley stepped down at the end of March to concentrate on his treatment. He had been Coolidge’s city manager for 15 years.“Bob was devoted to, and always worked in the best interests of the citizens of Coolidge,” Thompson said. “Our families’ thoughts and prayers go out to Bob’s wife and family. May God bless Bob and his family.”
Flatley took a leave of absence from the city at the end of last year. Although he briefly returned to duty, he came to the conclusion he could not return to work full time. Flatley appointed Rick Miller, director of growth management for the city, as the acting city manager before he left. Miller is still in that position.
Jordan Rose, founder/president of Rose Law Group wrote the following:
“Bob and I have been friends for nearly two decades and as I write this I feel so incredibly blessed to have known him. What an absolutely wonderful man! Bob had this totally unique way of finding solutions – in a way I have never before experienced. Knowing he was a trained priest, I always thought he used his background to bring a sort of peace to every situation.
“It was almost like he could “lay hands” on a contentious debate and everyone would calm down, exhale and come to resolution. I remember countless afternoons spent in Bob’s office trying to come up with ways to bring good growth to Coolidge and I would always leave feeling so happy. It was almost like Bob had this happiness virus and if you spent more than about 2 minutes in his presence, no matter your mood prior to seeing him, you would catch it. I felt like he even talked through a smile. No matter the discussion he just seemed like his whole being was smiling.
“In fact, while I never saw him dance and have no idea if he could even dance (although I know he was in a band so I am betting he had some moves), I always felt like he was just one more minute away from doing a little jig and singing a song that would surely include the refrain of “everything is wonderful”. He had this most caring aura. Whether you knew him well or not, I think one couldn’t help but feel cared-about after talking to him.
“The state of Arizona is really a better place because Bob chose to serve us here in our great state. I will really miss Bob.”