Friday will be anything but a typical day at work for City Manager Jane Brautigam.

Friday will be anything but a typical day at work for City Manager Jane Brautigam.
It's her last day on the job in Dublin.

"I'm feeling pretty nostalgic about the people here and the good things Dublin provides," Brautigam said in an interview last week with the Dublin Villager. "I've been very lucky to work with all these amazing people and I wish I could take them with me."

Brautigam accepted a job last month as city manager of Boulder, Colo. She is expected to start there by Nov. 1.

Answering questions about her six years in Dublin, Brautigam felt a sense of accomplishment - but also a bit of sadness as she won't help guide some projects to completion.

"Every time I think about what's coming up in the next couple of years I get a little sad I won't be able to see these fun things come to fruition," she said.

In the short term, Brautigam said the city will turn its focus to Historic Dublin as BriHi Square and the Grounds of Remembrance are completed.

"There will be a lot of focus on Historic Dublin, which will bring even more success to the historic district, which will put pressure on parking and traffic issues," she said.

Funding improvements at the Central Ohio Innovation Center (COIC) also will be a primary project for Dublin, including the upcoming U.S. Route 33 and Post Road interchange improvements planned for the spring.

"I've worked really hard to make sure our future is secure out there," Brautigam said. "It's not complete and I'm sad I will not finish that."
In the long term, Brautigam predicts more growth for the city.

"Dublin is becoming a center of employment and entrepreneurship," she said. "We have great schools, the entertainment district will be improving every year and jobs will be nearby. There will be growth pressure that may be coming to the community that will include some different housing options."

The completion of the Emerald Parkway extension will open another part of the community to different types of development, Brautigam said. The 45-acre medical complex proposed on the west side of Riverside Drive could "change the face of the community in every possible way," she added.

With a full plate of projects under way, Brautigam offered a few pieces of advice for her yet-to-be-hired successor.

"One of the things that happens in Dublin is we have really high expectations of the performance of our staff and the services we provide," Brautigam said. "The person the city hires should come in with their eyes open."

"It's almost an organization that never rests and is never satisfied with 'it's good enough,' " Brautigam continued. "You have to be on top of your game all the time and that can be wearing. If you come in not expecting that, you'll be in for quite a surprise."

In the meantime, deputy city manager and finance director Marsha Grigsby will step in as interim city manager.

"The transition for the city will be so smooth and transparent because Marsha is so intimately involved," Brautigam said. "It's not difficult for her to take over and step in. I admire her for being very level-headed and calm."

Brautigam said her focus on regionalism is one of her proudest accomplishments.

"An impact I've made is to have our city government understand how very important we are in the scene of central Ohio," Brautigam said.

"Our future and its future are tied together. We have a big role to play there. Before, we were a bit isolationist (in our) thinking. We aren't now and I'm really very proud of that."

While residents might not have realized all of Brautigam's influences, she made countless internal changes to employee relations and benefits.

"We really focused on making the (human resources) department of the city a leading department," she said. "There will be a war for talent as baby boomers retire and we want Dublin to be a winner in that war. We already compete for top talent and I'm very proud of that."

Despite spending six years in her role, Brautigam said there were a few things she didn't quite get the hang of.

"As a city manager you often struggle how best to communicate with city council," she said. "I never got to the point where I felt like I was perfect."

Turning the focus to the COIC also meant Brautigam didn't have the opportunity to design a new municipal building.

"Any new person coming in tries hard at the beginning to do a good job, but I think I could have been more patient with how things were and what it means to be in Dublin," she said.

Brautigam said she plans to work another 10 years and hopes to finish her career in Boulder.

Although Brautigam was happy with her role in Dublin, the Boulder job offered her additional professional opportunities.

"I haven't had in any of my time to work on issues that are about social sustainability," she said. An expanding public transit system, providing affordable housing and green initiatives are areas that will offer Brautigam the challenges she is looking for in Boulder.

"There are not answers to any of them, but working on the solutions will be a great thing to end my career as a city manager," Brautigam said. "I completely intend for this to be my last stop."