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City Manager Jane Brautigam Announces Retirement Effective Oct. 30

Brautigam is Boulder's first female city manager and longest serving Boulder city manager in modern history

Jane S. Brautigam, Boulder’s first female city manager and the longest serving Boulder city manager in modern history, announced today that she will retire on Oct. 30, 2020.

“The time has come for me to step into the next journey in my life,” Brautigam said. “I am, and always will be, proud of what all of us together have achieved for the City of Boulder. The lessons I have learned here, the ethics and integrity I have seen embodied in all that we have done, the innovation and creativity that has been part of our approach and the commitment to inclusive, effective local government will always be with me.”

Brautigam has served as the city’s top executive for 12 years. During her tenure, she oversaw many significant projects and community-focused efforts, including recovery related to the 2013 flood and several wildfires; the exploration of municipalization and adoption of new climate goals; the creation of a homelessness strategy; critical infrastructure improvements to water/wastewater facilities and recreational facilities; revitalization of the Civic Area; design of a new North Boulder Library; and the adoption of key Master Plans, such as Fire and Open Space and Mountain Parks, which will guide progress in Boulder for years to come.

Of all her achievements, Brautigam is particularly proud of her relentless commitment to creating financial stability for the organization. Under her leadership, the city increased its general fund reserves to nearly 20 percent – a best practice, especially for local governments that rely heavily upon sales tax revenue. She saved the city money amid rapidly rising healthcare costs and championed a 2011 capital bond initiative and a subsequent Community, Culture and Safety Tax that  have allowed the city to maintain and begin improving critical infrastructure for the first time in years.

“Part of what I have loved about my job is the innovative, leading-edge work Boulder does around important issues. But it is also critical to invest in the day-to-day operations and services the community needs and expects from us,” Brautigam said. “Stabilizing the budget for the long-term health of the city ensures this focus can continue, even when we are confronted with challenging economic conditions like the ones faced across our country today.”

Those who have worked with Brautigam say the way in which she approached her work has been as important as her more visible accomplishments.

“Jane did not just lead the city with a steady hand,” said Mayor Sam Weaver. “She sought to transform the culture, bringing together discrete departments with a variety of important community service functions, under the umbrella of one forward-looking, continuously improving organization. She empowered leaders at all levels and took on challenging issues, including structural racism and historic oppression, with a combination of courage and humility that lifted up everyone working with her. Closing out her inspirational career, Jane has helped pilot the city through the necessary responses to the urgent crisis of COVID-19 and its unprecedented impacts on our community. While I am sad to see Jane retire, I am grateful for the vibrant city organization she leaves as her legacy.”

Brautigam plans to continue supporting the development of strong city and county managers as the next generation of leaders. She currently serves as the president of the International City/County Manager’s Association, and in 2020, she was honored by the Colorado City and County Manager’s Association as city manager of the year.

“I have so much confidence in the emerging leaders I see today and believe firmly in the power of local government to transform communities and make individuals’ lives better,” Brautigam said. “I am excited to be able to devote more time to cultivating the very best of my profession.”
By announcing her retirement three months in advance of her departure, Brautigam plans to work with council and city leadership to ensure that the Boulder organization and community are supported. This will include initiating a search for a new city manager within the next few weeks.

“There is no doubt the city manager is an important position,” she said. “What I have tried to demonstrate, however, is that healthy, high-functioning local governments are supported by a team of leaders. I am confident our department directors and many others across the city who have embraced our core values and a spirit of continuous learning will serve Boulder well and support each other long after I am gone. I look forward to watching Boulder continue to shine.”

Publlished: July 27, 2020

Media Contact:
Sarah Huntley, Communication and Engagement Director, 720-908-5722