PALMDALE – After 43 years in the public sector, Palmdale City Manager Dave Childs has announced he will retire effective June 18, 2015.
“In thinking about the time we want to spend with our children and grandchildren, and in looking to the future, this is the time for us to move into retirement,” Childs stated in a letter to the Palmdale City Council. “There will always be a piece of my heart left behind here in this community and in this organization. But now is the time that great hope and great sadness converge – sadness as I leave a wonderful and thriving city organization and hope as I look forward to the golden years of retirement.”
“It’s with very mixed emotions that we are saying goodbye to Dave,” stated Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “He has been an outstanding manager, and guided our organization through a tough transitional period, setting a direction and establishing a culture that will endure. We will miss his leadership for sure, but we are extremely happy for him and his wife, Barb, and wish them all the best in retirement.”
Childs was appointed City Manager in April 2012. Under his helm, the city underwent a complete departmental restructuring, developed a new strategic plan and values statement, acquired the airport, increased budget reserves, established a new union contract, sold the Palmdale Power plant, initiated discussions about public art, and engaged residents in new and innovative service and community building programs.
The Palmdale City Council will meet in the near future to determine it next course of action to find a replacement for Childs.
Prior to coming to Palmdale, Childs served in numerous key leadership positions in local government, including service as the Assistant County Manager of Washoe County, Nevada, as well as the City Manager in the City of South Lake Tahoe, California, and additionally serving as the City Manager for four cities in Minnesota, including the cities of Minnetonka, New Brighton, St. Anthony and Blue Earth between 1978 and 2000. Earlier in his career, Childs held several positions in Minnesota and Arizona as both a city and regional planner, including serving as the Planning Director for the City of Casa Grande, Arizona.
In addition to Childs’ years of managing local governments, one of the crowning achievements of his career is his service as president of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in 2010-11. He is also an ICMA Credentialed Manager and continues to serve as an ICMA liaison to Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada and Montana.
Childs holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from Minnesota State University and attended the Harvard Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the JFK School of Government. He and his wife, Barbara, have two married sons and three grandchildren.
[Information via press release from the city of Palmdale.]