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Assistant City Manager Katie Lichtig Announces Retirement After 35 Years of Public Service

January 23, 2020

Assistant City Manager Katie Lichtig Announces Retirement After 35 Years of Public Service

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – After 35 years of dedication to local and federal government, Assistant City Manager Katie Lichtig announced plans to retire from public service. Katie returned to Santa Monica in 2017 as Assistant City Manager and Chief Operating Officer.

“That we reached out to bring Katie back home tells you all you need to know about how Santa Monica feels about her,” said Mayor Kevin McKeown. “Katie’s been an indispensable core part of every achievement our city takes pride in.”

Her entre into local government began in Santa Monica when she joined the team in 1992 as the Assistant to the City Manager for Management Services before going on to hold top leadership positions in neighboring westside cities and on the Central Coast. Her contributions to Santa Monica have spanned four decades where she has played critical roles in events and achievements, including recovering from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, overseeing the implementation of important community programs and services, and capital projects. More recently, Lichtig shepherded the City through a reimagined budget process and the move to performance management.

“Public service has defined my life and it has been my honor to work on behalf of the City of Santa Monica. After 35 years, I am ready to start a new chapter,” said Lichtig. “I take this step into retirement with tremendous gratitude for everything this community has offered me both inside and outside the organization.”

When Katie was selected for the position in 2017, it was restructured as a partnership with the City Manager putting a strong emphasis on managing performance for operational excellence. Katie supported the City’s 11 departments and oversaw strategic planning, resilience, wellbeing, and performance management for the City Manager’s Office.

“Katie has been a tremendous leader and partner in her role as Chief Operating Officer,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “Her love for this community is apparent in how she’s approached decisions, working tirelessly to make local government work better and cost less. We are grateful she brought her talents back to Santa Monica to complete her remarkable career in public service leadership.”

Before rejoining the City in October 2017, she was the City Manager for the City of San Luis Obispo for seven years. She also served as Assistant City Manager/Chief Operating Officer for the City of Beverly Hills (2006 – 2010) and City Manager for the City of Malibu (2001 – 2006). 

Katie’s last day will be April 9, 2020. She looks forward to serving as the Emergency Operations Center Director for her final Los Angeles Marathon – a role she’s honed going back to playing a key role in recovery efforts after natural disasters in Santa Monica and last year in coordinating our support as the Woolsey Fire raged in nearby Malibu (for which the City of Santa Monica was recently honored with the California Emergency Services Association Exceptional Service Award.)

Andy Agle, Director of Housing and Community Development, will step into an interim role while the City begins a thorough and open search for the next Chief Operating Officer. As the longest-serving department head and longtime Santa Monica resident, Andy brings his devotion to the values of equity, opportunity, and learning and his long-standing commitment to the success of our entire Santa Monica community. 

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