Today, San José City Manager Debra Figone announced her intention to retire by the end of this year. Figone has served as the city manager of San José since 2007.
“I have had the good fortune to work with many talented leaders, both elected and staff, whose dedication to public service has been motivating and inspiring,” Figone stated in her letter to the San José City Council. “While my past six years as City Manager have been the most difficult, they also have been the most rewarding of my entire career.”
“I believe that this is the right time for a transition. I made a commitment to myself to do the best I could before retiring to help the City achieve fiscal stability and lead our organization to recovery during remarkably challenging times. I think we’ve made significant progress, and I’m confident that we’re on the right track.”
A San José native, Figone became the city’s 15th city manager following seven years as town manager in Los Gatos. Over the course of her career, she has spent 34 years working for the City of San José in positions with increasing responsibility, and ten years with the Town of Los Gatos.
“Throughout her 44 years of public service, Debra Figone has demonstrated outstanding integrity, dedication, and skill as a professional public manager,” said San José Mayor Chuck Reed. “I’m deeply grateful for her contributions and guidance to the City Council during an extremely challenging period for our city. I wish her all the best in the future.”
Figone served as assistant city manager in San José from 1995 to 2000, with responsibility for the day-to-day oversight and management of all city departments and for directing the development and implementation of the City’s operating and capital budgets. She also has served as director of General Services, acting director of Emergency Services, and several other positions with San José. She started her career in 1969 as a part-time recreation aide while in high school.
Under the San José City Charter, the city manager is the organization’s chief administrative officer who is responsible to the mayor and council for the overall management of the city and staff. The manager appoints department directors and employees.
The mayor has the responsibility to present a candidate to the City Council for consideration for appointment to the position of city manager. Mayor Reed will determine the next steps for identifying the next city manager and a timetable to bring a candidate to the City Council.
“Our next city manager will inherit a committed organization, an impressive team, and a supportive community with significant opportunities to make a lasting mark on San José,” Figone said. “These include completing our fiscal reforms, reinvesting in our workforce and our infrastructure, engaging our community to create new models for effective partnership, and following through on initiatives to secure the economic and cultural vitality of San José.”
“I will continue to be fully committed to carrying out my responsibilities until the day I leave City Hall, and I offer my full support to the Mayor and Council through this transitional period.”
Figone’s letter to the City Council announcing her retirement can be viewed here.