Palmdale City Manager Dave Childs announced this week his retirement from public service, effective June 18.
Childs has worked in the public sector for 43 years. He stated in a letter read before the city council on Tuesday that he had been considering retirement for the past few months and is looking forward to spending more time with his children and grandchildren.
“In looking in to the future, this is the time for us to move into retirement,” Childs stated. “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 to the golden years of retirement.”
Childs was appointed city manager in April 2012. Under his helm, the city management underwent a significant departmental restructuring, developed a new strategic plan and values statement, acquired the airport, increased budget reserves and established a new union contract. During Childs’ tenure, the city sold the Palmdale Power plant, initiated discussions about public art and engaged residents in new and innovative service and community building programs.
“It is with very mixed emotions that we are saying goodbye to Dave,” said 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.”
The council will meet in the future to discuss a replacement for Childs.
Prior to his arrival in Palmdale, Childs served in numerous key leadership positions in local government including service as the assistant county manager of Washoe County, Nev. as well as the city manager in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Childs was city manager in four cities in Minnesota including Minnetonka, New Brighton, St. Anthony and Blue Earth between 1978 and 2000.
Earlier in his career, Childs held several positions in Minnesota and in Arizona as both a city and regional planner including serving as planning director for the city of Casa Grande, Ariz.