SANTA MONICA—On April 30, Santa Monica Assistant Manager and Chief Operating Officer Katie Lichtig announced that she would retire on May 29, 2020 after 35 years of public service.

Her plans to retire were first announced on January 23, 2020. Lichtig’s career in the local government began as an Assistant to the City Manager for Management Services in 1992, before she attained top leadership roles in westside cities nearby and on the Central Coast. She has held her 2 current roles since 2017, after leaving her post as City Manager of San Luis Obispo. She was also previously the Assistant City Manager and Chief Operating Officer of Beverly Hills, and the City Manager of Malibu.

From monitoring the implementation of essential community programs and services to assisting in the recovery from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, Lichtig has played a critical role in several events and achievements, according to the official January statement

“Katie has been a tremendous leader and partner in her role as Chief Operating Officer,” said then-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.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lichtig guided the City in launching a COVID-19 hotline and calling seniors and vulnerable residents to ensure they had sufficient essential supplies to keep them safe. She also assisted in creating the City’s giving fund that has raised money to provide such essential supplies to those who are most vulnerable to contracting the virus.

“When I made the decision to retire earlier this year, it was with mixed feelings because my passion for public service has defined my working life for more than 35 years,” said Lichtig. “My passion for serving our community took hold when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and I agreed to postpone my retirement to help navigate difficult and uncertain times. It’s been my honor to serve alongside dedicated and courageous colleagues who have and will continue to serve with distinction to protect the health and safety of our residents, visitors and workforce.”

“I am confident that the We are Santa Monica spirit is alive and well even at this time. If any city is capable of reshaping, reconstructing and navigating this treacherous pathway to future success it is Santa Monica.”