Deputy city manager ‘a rising star’

Hoffman says commitment to city more than professional

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Deputy City Manager Seth Hoffman has eaten at every free-standing restaurant, mall food court eatery and hot dog stand in Lone Tree.

“I just went to the new Indian place on Friday to keep my streak alive (and) I’m on my way to Bonanno’s,” said Hoffman, who claims he can’t choose a favorite from among the city’s approximately 100 dining options. “It’s hard to go wrong.”

His gustatorial prowess is not Hoffman’s greatest claim to fame, however. Lone Tree city officials instead would point to rapid ascension through the city’s ranks and talent at economic development.

“I think Seth is a rising star,” Mayor Jim Gunning said, citing among his accomplishments the on-time, under-budget completion of the Lone Tree Arts Center and development of the city’s economic development program.

Hoffman, 35, recently was named chairman of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation Professionals. The group helps develop the nine-county regional area’s annual economic development plan, marketing programs and economic policy recommendations.

The Kansas native never planned to grow roots in Lone Tree. An initial job in the city as project administrator was instead intended to be a rung on his career ladder.

“I took the job in Lone Tree almost sight unseen,” Hoffman said. “I didn’t have the sense of what its true potential was until I got there on day one. I’m thankful I made this choice. Because of the dynamics of the city, I’ve had a lot of different jobs just by staying in one place.”

Hoffman’s current title is his fourth with the city in eight years. As deputy city manager, he’s now one spot from the top of the city’s hierarchy. City Manager Jack Hidahl, 69, was hired as Lone Tree’s manager in 2005 and shares the mayor’s opinion of Hoffman.

“I think very highly of him,” he said. “I’m impressed with him every day.”

In his eight years, Hoffman helped Lone Tree move its administrative headquarters to the current city-owned Kimmer Drive building, spent years guiding the arts center to reality and now is working on the 2.3-mile extension of the light rail from Lincoln Station to RidgeGate Parkway completed.

The variety of projects and ever-changing demands keeps Hoffman excited about his job.

“It does seem like we keep having these signature projects,” he said. “Plus, we’ve had terrific elected leadership that makes this a great place to work.”

Hoffman lives in Lone Tree with his wife Sara and two young boys, which makes his dedication to Lone Tree personal as well as professional.

“My kids are going to grow up going to summer concerts and arts center events,” he said. “The work I do in Lone Tree every day benefits my family, so I’m going to take it even that much more seriously. The work I do at the police department, I recognize those guys are literally keeping my family safe at night.”