Rounding out nearly three decades with the city, Santa Monica Assistant City Manager Elaine Polachek announced last week that she will be retiring this July.
The announcement came at the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s Organization of Women Leaders International Women’s Day breakfast, at which Polachek was recognized for her career.
“When I came to Santa Monica in the summer of 1984 looking for a job, it never occurred to me that I would spend my career here. It has been one of the great honors of my life to serve this community. I leave proud of what we’ve achieved together and excited for Santa Monica’s future,” said Polachek in an official statement put out by the city Thursday.
Here entire remarks from the International Women’s Day breakfast are available here.
“The passion, precision, and compassion Elaine has shared with Santa Monica all of these years is something we are all better for,” said Mayor Ted Winterer in an official statement Thursday. “Her leadership will leave an indelible mark on this community.”
Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis echoed Winterer’s statement.
“It’s been a great privilege working with Elaine and seeing the impact she has on nearly every aspect of City operations,” said Davis. “It’s very hard to see such talent leave the City, but we are thankful for her 27 dedicated years of service.”
The city’s official announcement outlined a long list of Polachek’s accomplishments, including her term as interim city manager in 2015 as the City Council sought a replacement for Rod Gould.
Polachek was also instrumental in the Pier revitalization effort following a dramatic storm that caused about a third of the landmark Santa Monica Pier to fall into the ocean in 1983.
Polachek’s work is largely the nuts-and-bolts of city government. In addition to leading the revitalization of the Pier, Polachek also led efforts such as “Council adoption of a new Zoning Ordinance that guides implementation of the Land Use and Circulation Element, and a Facilities Renewal Program that increased and enhanced proactive maintenance of existing City facilities. She also developed a Council-adopted community events ordinance and guidelines, and negotiated agreements for major events and exhibitions including LA Marathon, Ashes and Snow, Cavalia, and Cirque du Soleil,” according to the city’s press release.
In her role as assistant city manager, Polachek “oversees the day-to-day administration, supervision, and coordination of 11 departments. She focuses on developing, enhancing, and sustaining relations with community and neighborhood organizations, and key city business partners such as the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., and the Pier Corporation,” officials said.
Last year, Assemblymember Richard Bloom named Polachek Assembly District 50’s Woman of the Year. As a former Santa Monica City Council member and mayor, Bloom had first-hand experience with Polachek’s work.