Palo Alto's City Auditor Lynda Brouchoud will step down from her position next month, leaving the city with another gaping hole in its leadership team.
Brouchoud, who joined the city in September 2008, went on maternity leave last October and recently gave birth to a son, has resigned to take care of her family, the city announced Tuesday afternoon. Her office is one of four positions, along with city manager, city attorney and city clerk, that gets appointed by the City Council.
Brouchoud's resignation comes at a time when the city is already wrestling with a slew of vacancies in its leadership positions. The council is currently looking for a replacement for retired City Attorney Gary Baum. The heads of the city's Library, Public Works, Fire and Human Resources departments have also resigned or retired over the past year.
During her brief but productive tenure in the City Auditor's Office, Brouchoud spearheaded several audits that city officials said resulted in significant financial savings. These included critical reviews of the city's travel expenses, vehicle usage and ambulance-billing service. Her office also won awards from the Association of Government Accountants for its annual Services and Accomplishments reports, which analyze service levels in each department and measure citizen opinion about various public services.
"While this was a difficult personal decision, I am pleased to leave the city on a high note, with a solid record of valuable contributions and a team of highly dedicated and qualified staff," Brouchoud said in a statement. "It has been an honor to serve the City of Palo Alto and its residents."
While some of the recently departed officials -- including Baum and former Public Works Director Glenn Roberts -- faced occasional criticism from the council before they retired, Brouchoud has been routinely praised during council meetings for her reports.
In announcing her resignation, Mayor Sid Espinosa said the city's "very grateful" to Brouchoud and her department for its "excellent and diligent work."
"During her tenure, Lynda has helped us become more effective and efficient, and has provided recommendations that will help Palo Alto operate better for decades to come," Espinosa said in a statement. "We will miss her, but we applaud her commitment to her family and we wish her the best."
City officials plan to begin the recruitment process for Brouchoud's replacement before her scheduled resignation on April 18. Mike Edmonds, who was appointed acting city auditor while Brouchoud was on maternity leave, will continue to head the department until her permanent successor is appointed, the city announced.