Palos Verdes Estates City Manager Judy Smith resigned Friday, telling City Council members that she is moving to Orange County.
"It wasn't my choice," Mayor George Bird said. "She is a valued member of our city staff, and we reluctantly accepted her resignation. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Judy Smith, and any city would lucky to have her running their operation."
Smith, who became city manager in August 2011, has worked for Palos Verdes Estates for 17 years. She has also served as assistant city manager, city clerk and finance director. Her last day will be Feb. 22.
Smith initially took over on an interim basis after the council moved to fire prior city manager Joe Hoefgren without giving cause in June 2011. At the time, city officials declined to explain why they let Hoefgren go. He later took a job with the city of Redondo Beach.
Bird stressed that Smith left entirely on her own.
"There's no negative inference or issue regarding Judy Smith's tenure with the city," he said. "It is all positive."
Bird said the city will soon begin compiling candidates to replace Smith.
"If I could have a clone of Judy Smith as our next city manager, that would be my preference," Bird said.
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