He serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of the City responsible for the management and day-to-day operation of City government. Oklahoma City is a full-service City with nearly 4,300 employees and a total budget of $876 million.
Mr. Couch serves on the following City-related boards and agencies: Oklahoma City Airport Trust, Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, Oklahoma City Zoological Trust, and the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority. Also, Mr. Couch serves as General Manager of the Oklahoma City Environmental Assistance Trust and the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Public Schools (OCMAPS) Trust, which oversees a half-billion dollar construction program.
Mr. Couch serves on the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City Board of Directors and the United Way of Metro Oklahoma City Board of Directors. Additionally, he is active in various church activities at Peace Lutheran Church.
Prior to his appointment as City Manager, Mr. Couch served as Assistant City Manager/MAPS Director for 2 1⁄2 years and Water/Wastewater Utilities Director for 11 years. In those capacities he served as the General Manager of both the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust and the McGee Creek Authority and was responsible for the Water/Wastewater Utilities budget of $100 million annually, as well as the $390 million Metropolitan Area Projects capital construction program.
Previously, Mr. Couch held positions as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Edmond, Oklahoma; Public Works Director for the City of Casper, Wyoming; and Office Director for Buell, Winter, Mousel and Associates, Consulting Engineers – Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; and Casper, Wyoming. He received a Bachelor of Science – Civil Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the States of Oklahoma and Colorado.
As part of the Downtown Oklahoma City Inc.'s Dean A. McGee Awards, Jim received the first Stanley Draper Award for Community Excellence in 2002.
He received the highest honor, or Fuller Award, from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in 1996. He was on the National Board of Directors for American Water Works Associaiton (AWWA) 1996-1999.
Mr. Couch was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials in 2007.