Getting to Know Tallahassee's New City Manager

City Manager Ricardo Fernandez
Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-13 12:49:19-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Tallahassee will have a new city manager by the end of next week. Ricardo Fernandez will succeed Anita Favors Thompson, who's retiring after 18 years in the position.

For 27 years in city government, Fernandez has worked his way from city auditor to his upcoming role as city manager.

"We will work as hard as we need to, to provide predictability and the highest level of service for the community in a affordable manner," Fernandez said.

He's managed the city's utility services, claiming rates have stayed the same in the past few years. He said he plans to keep that standard in his new role.

"This coming year, we'll concentrate on the budget process -- again, providing predictability as to what the residents pay," he said.

Fernandez has worked with Favors Thompson for more than 20 years. He said completing FAMU Way is one of his goals.

"It is a wonderful project," Fernandez said. "She put her heart and soul into it, and I hope to provide my heart and soul into it, so that she can be proud of it."

A hotly debated issue this year involved hiking the city's property tax to help hire more police officers. Commissioners spent months negotiating by just how much to raise it. Fernandez said his relationship with the commission is meant to unite.

"Our job is to carry out the commission vision," he said. "They're elected by the community, and we trust their judgment."

Before Fernandez takes over on November 21, the city is planning a community celebration for Favors Thompson at Cascades Park on the evening of November 19.