Diane Foster, ski industry vet, installed as acting city manager
Diane Foster, the deputy Park City manager, will serve as the acting city manager upon Tom Bakaly’s departure, city leaders said on Thursday.
Foster received a round of applause at a Park City Council meeting when her appointment, which is effective Aug. 25 and will last until a permanent city manager starts, was announced.
A schedule for the hiring process has not been outlined in detail, but Mayor Dana Williams indicated earlier in the week it could be midwinter before someone is installed in the position on a permanent basis.
Foster is 48 years old and has worked at City Hall since 2008. She was the environmental sustainability manager and was appointed the interim assistant city manager upon the departure of Michael Kovacs before being named the deputy city manager.
She said she will not submit an application for the permanent city manager position, indicating the deputy position is still new for her and she is pursuing a masters degree in public administration that consumes some of her time.
Foster said she anticipates the municipal government will continue to function at the same level once Bakaly departs. She said he is an "amazing leader" and has instituted a team approach at City Hall. If one person leaves, the rest of the organization will not buckle, she said.
Some of the topics she expects to handle during the search for a permanent city manager include the Treasure development proposal, ideas for the redevelopment of lower Park Avenue, Bonanza Park concepts and City Hall’s General Plan, which is an overarching document that guides growth. She also anticipates there will be progress in the long-running talks with the Environmental Protection Agency.
"While he was involved with all of those, he wasn’t the only one involved," she said about major issues City Hall faces.
Foster said she expects to be "very involved" in the recruitment of a permanent city manager but acknowledged the mayor and City Council will lead those efforts.
Foster, who lives in Wanship, worked in management roles in the private sector for 22 years prior to her 2008 hiring at City Hall, including in the high tech and ski industries. An online resume includes entries with Backcountry.com and American Skiing Company. She holds a masters in business administration, with a focus on international business, from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Bakaly said he recommended Foster be appointed the acting city manager upon his departure. He said he anticipates "very smooth transition" and said she understands the goals of the municipal government.
"I have complete confidence we won’t miss a beat. In fact we’ll probably pick up a beat," Bakaly said.
Bakaly will leave Park City to become the city manager in Hermosa Beach, Calif. The City Council there this week made the formal appointment and approved an employment agreement with him.
Park City will hire a professional recruiter to conduct a search for the next city manager. A Thursday statement from City Hall indicated a request for proposals from recruitment firms interested in the work would be issued on Friday.
The mayor has said he anticipates more than 100 people will apply for the position. In 2003, when Bakaly was selected as city manager, he was picked from a field of 121 other people who wanted the job.
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