Interim City Manager Lane Dilg is set to leave her position in Spring 2021 but the former city attorney said this week there is still much to be done before she heads for new pastures next year.

City leaders announced this week that Dilg, who previously led the City Attorney’s Office as City Attorney for nearly three years before she took the reins as Interim City Manager in April 2020, will soon leave the city as her family relocates to pursue other public service ventures.

“At this point, it is clear to me that our public service is going to take us out of Santa Monica and so I’m asking the council to start a search,” Dilg said in an interview with the Daily Press. “I haven’t accepted a position elsewhere… but what I’m letting them know now is that public service will take us elsewhere and therefore we need to start a search.”

Dilg doesn’t know how long it will take to find a replacement but she does believe the process should be deliberate and thoughtful.

“When looking for a city manager, I think that we want a city manager for the long-term and we want that person to provide excellence for the community and continuity,” Dilg said, mentioning a search could take as little as four months. “And I want to be sure they have the time they need to do that and do that well.”

In her capacity as city manager, Dilg currently serves as chief executive officer and Director of Emergency Services. She also manages an annual budget of $613.6 million and staff across ten different departments, which is among her favorite on-the-job duties.

“I have genuinely treasured the opportunity to serve with essential staff in the pandemic. It is an experience that I will take with me forever and I am deeply, deeply grateful to everyone that I’ve had the privilege of serving in this moment with,” Dilg said as she moved to discuss the city and residents she has come to love.

“I love the city and I love living here and I love the calmness that comes from looking at the Pacific. I think I’ve learned a lot about ways to stay mindful and present, even in the midst of challenges, from the city and from its culture.”

Dilg recognizes there’s still much to be done in regards to recovery efforts throughout the city in the coming months and she remains fully committed to the ongoing work to craft a thriving, more equitable Santa Monica as the pandemic subsides and the economy lifts, she said.

But Dilg will be the first to admit she is looking forward to a day when she can truly take a break.

“I’m tired as I think all public officials in the pandemic are. While I look forward to the day when I can truly take a deep breath and exhale from the pressures that come with the pandemic, I am 100% here and fully committed to seeing Santa Monica through the worst of the pandemic.”

This story has been updated to correct a quote that was incorrectly transcribed.