Long-time Lakewood employee gets city manager job
LAKEWOOD – Kathy Hodgson, a 30-year city employee will replace controversial City Manager Mike Rock when he retires in September.
Hodgson, currently director of Lakewood’s Community Resources Department, was selected by City Council from a field of six finalists earlier this week, but the decision was not announced until Wednesday.
“Lakewood is a great community, and I will continue my commitment to encouraging open public discussions and involvement,” Hodgson said in a written statement released by City Hall. “I’m proud to serve an organization representing innovation and integrity, and I look forward to building on our community’s heritage while embracing new ideas as Lakewood’s city manager.”
Hodgson started her career with the city as a lifeguard and has worked in a number of management positions. For the past nine years, she has directed the Community Resources Department.
“Kathy has been involved with Lakewood for nearly three decades. The community knows her, and she knows the community,” said Mayor Bob Murphy.
The Department of Community Resources is comprised of seven divisions and manages the city’s 98 parks, two golf courses, four recreation centers, a community center for senior citizens, arts and cultural programs and facilities, the city’s Family Services programs including Head Start and early childhood services.
Hodgson told the Edge she’s going to take a bit of time to collect her thoughts on her new role directing the city’s staff as well as making sure the duties of her current role are met.
“I care dearly about this organization and this department because I’ve a been part of this department since 1980. I want to ensure that the leadership is strong and it continues in that exceptional way it operates in today,” Hodgson said. “Frankly, I really look forward to this weekend, it’s a holiday weekend and it gives me a chance to truly spend some time and be thoughtful about it.”
The past week was a whirlwind of activity for Hodgson, City Council and the five other finalists. Council and staff conducted extensive interviews with each of the applicants last week in advance of Monday’s selection, which was made during an executive session.
No vote was mentioned in Wednesday’s news release.
Hodgson holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She recently completed a senior executive’s program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Two other Lakewood administrators – Finance director Larry Dorr and Public Works director Jay Hutchison were among the field of finalists for the job. The other three were Elizabeth Link, former director of development for Mills Corp., which developed the Colorado Mills shopping center in Lakewood; Lafayette City Manager Gary Klaphake; and former Tucson City Manager Mike Hein.
Rock, who was hired as city manager in 1992, announced his plan to retire last February.