Park City manager leaves City Hall in sudden, unexpected departure (updated)
Park City Manager Diane Foster left the municipal government on Tuesday, City Hall said in a prepared statement that described the personnel move as a separation, a sudden, unexpected departure of the Marsac Building’s top staffer at a time when the municipal government appears to enjoy widespread support in the community.
The statement indicated Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council “initiated the move” but described the separation as “amicable.” Foster had been the city manager since 2013. She helped guide Park City through a period of economic expansion as the city enjoyed a strong emergence from the recession, the difficult final years of the talks about the Treasure development and the arrival of Vail Resorts as the owner of Park City Mountain Resort.
There had not been outward indications that a departure of the city manager was imminent. Foster did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. City Hall released a prepared statement from Foster saying she is pleased with her tenure as the city manager.
“While I will miss working with the amazingly talented city staff, I respect the mayor and Council’s decision. The opportunity to make a small difference in the lives of my co-workers and in our community is one that I will cherish forever,” Foster said in the prepared statement.
Foster arrived at City Hall in 2008 from the private sector and rose through the ranks of the municipal government. She started her City Hall career as the environmental sustainability manager before a promotion to deputy city manager. She was appointed the city manager in the spring of 2013 after serving in an interim role for upward of seven months upon the departure of the former city manager, Tom Bakaly. Her private sector career included time at American Skiing Company and Backcountry.com.
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The City Hall release notes Foster’s role in a series of high-profile municipal successes, including the conservation agreements for Treasure and Bonanza Flat. It also highlights the work that led to an agreement between City Hall and the organizers of the Sundance Film Festival to shift the dates of the event on years that it would otherwise overlap with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, something that was long sought by the Park City business community.
“The mayor and Council appreciate Diane Foster’s good service to the city and community, but we felt it was in the best interest of the organization to make a change and go a new direction,” Beerman said in an interview.
Beerman said Foster will receive a severance package, but details were not immediately available. Foster is “actively helping with the transition” for at least a few weeks, the mayor said.
Matt Dias, the assistant city manager under Foster, was appointed the interim city manager. The City Hall release said Dias “has the confidence of the mayor and City Council who plan to discuss with Dias the opportunity to take on the permanent role.” The release said an external recruitment to select the next city manager is not currently planned.
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