Dublin City Manager Chris Foss is retiring at the end of the year to cap a nearly four-decade career in local government, including the past 5-1/2 years as Dublin's top city administrator.
Foss, who has logged 20 years in all with the city of Dublin, informed the City Council members of his decision in closed session during their regular meeting Tuesday night.
The council then selected Foss' top deputy, assistant city manager Linda Smith, to become Dublin's next city manager, subject to successful contract negotiations, city officials announced Thursday morning.
"It has been my great pleasure to work with Chris Foss over the last several years. His leadership and professional guidance helped to make Dublin a great place to live, work, and raise a family," Mayor David Haubert said in a statement.
"The City Council has the utmost confidence in Linda's ability to carry on the values of professional leadership, coupled with her enduring passion for this community. She is the right person to lead Dublin into the future," Haubert added.
Foss has led Dublin as city manager on a permanent basis since April 2014 -- which followed nearly five months of him holding the job as acting city manager following predecessor Joni Pattillo's retirement in December 2013.
Dublin has realized continued commercial, corporate and residential growth during Foss' tenure at the helm.
City leaders like Haubert have lauded Foss for steady leadership among the various expansion projects while always striving to maintain sound financial practices to keep the city government in a healthy fiscal position.
They specifically credited Foss for overseeing phase two of Fallon Sports Park, The Wave water park, Valor Crossing affordable apartment complex for military veterans and two new neighborhood parks. They also pointed to key private projects such as the new Kaiser Permanente campus and the future campus for Carl Zeiss Meditec.
"I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with Dublin City Council and city staff to bring the best services possible to our residents and businesses," Foss said in a statement.
Foss' retirement is scheduled to take effect Dec. 31.
And the city already knows who will take his place -- as long as contract negotiations go well -- with the council voting to appoint Smith as the next city manager, Dublin's fourth since incorporating in 1982.
"I am also pleased that the City Council has appointed Linda Smith to fill my shoes," Foss added. "Her extensive background working in a variety of local municipalities, in addition to her decade of experience in Dublin, makes her the most qualified person to lead Dublin into the future."
Smith, who has worked for the past 5-1/2 years as assistant city manager, expressed excitement at the opportunity to lead the city government in her hometown.
"It is a privilege to serve the City Council and I am grateful they selected me to lead this incredible organization of dedicated staff," Smith said in a statement. "Dublin is a dynamic community with a rich diversity of people and opinions and it's a place that I am proud to call 'home'."
With more than 17 years of experience in local government, Smith has worked for the city of Dublin for the past decade -- first as assistant to the city manager, and then economic development director and public information officer before being promoted to assistant city manager alongside Foss' elevation in 2014.
In her current role, Smith has been directly responsible for leading major city operational areas, such as public works, parks and recreation, community development, economic development, and communications, according to city officials.
Smith is a member of the International City Management Association (ICMA) and Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC), and she has received awards in her field, including the 2014 MMANC Wes McClure Outstanding Assistant Award and the 2017 John H. Nail Award from the League of California Cities.
In town, Smith is an active member of the Dublin Rotary Club and serves as vice president for the Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE) Board of Directors.
Smith holds a bachelor's degree in public relations, with a minor in political science, from San Jose State University.
After college, she spent nearly 10 years working in marketing and communications in the private sector for technology start-ups in Silicon Valley as well as corporate mainstays such as Levi Strauss, Visa, Bank of America, and the Clorox Company. She then transitioned to local government, working in economic development for Brentwood and Tracy before coming to Dublin in 2009.