CITY HALL — When City Manager Rod Gould retires at the end of next month, Assistant City Manager Elaine Polachek will take the reins, at least until Gould’s replacement is selected.

City Council voted unanimously to name Polachek to the position of interim city manager upon Gould’s departure.

Polachek, who has in the past served as Santa Monica’s operations manager for the Santa Monica Pier, director of Community Maintenance and deputy city manager, will be compensated in the amount of $27,452 per month (which pencils out to about $329,000 over the course of a year) in her interim role, Mayor Kevin McKeown said.

She’ll take City Hall’s top spot on Feb. 1. Polachek has worked for City Hall for more than three decades, according to a release from City Hall.

“With great confidence, our council chose Elaine Polachek because of her long history with our city, her record of successful communication and collaboration with residents and the business community, her admirable performance for years as assistant city manager, and what we know are great working relationships Elaine has throughout City Hall and with our partners at the school district and Santa Monica College,” McKeown said in a release from City Hall. “We have no doubt that Elaine will provide gracious leadership, experienced management, and deeply appreciated continuity and stability that will make our search for a new permanent city manager easier for us.”

Polachek received a round of applause at Tuesday’s council meeting, when her temporary promotion was announced.

“Thank you mayor and council,” she said at the meeting. “I really appreciate the confidence you’re showing in me and I will do my best, along with the rest of our staff, to make sure that we’re working hard in implementing the policy you come forward with and you’ll let us know if there’s anything that you need.”

As pier operations manager from 1984 to 1995, Polachek oversaw much of the redevelopment of the Santa Monica Pier, according to City Hall’s website.

“I’m honored to be named interim city manager and appreciate the opportunity to serve the City Council and the community in that capacity,” she said in the release. “Throughout my service to the city, I’ve been fortunate to form strong connections to people who care deeply about Santa Monica and I look forward to the months ahead.”

Gould announced in August that he would retire from his post.

The search for a new, permanent city manager is already underway. Last month, council hired Alliance Resource Consulting to aid in the recruitment process. That process could take 14 weeks, according to the reports from city officials. Assuming that process started immediately after council approved the contract with Alliance, a new city manager would not be selected until at least March.

dave@www.smdp.com

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