Life after Fernandez: The search for a new city manager

Life after Fernandez: The search for a new city manager
Life after Fernandez: The search for a new city manager
Posted at 4:13 PM, Jan 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-04 13:43:47-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Now that Rick Fernandez has officially resigned as Tallahassee City Manager, it begs the question, "what's next"?

WTXL ABC 27's Stephen Jiwanmall works to find the answers to that very question.

So, who's on the city's radar to serve in the meantime?

A few names were brought up at Wednesday's meeting, including two former city managers, but the search is still on to find the next person to lead city operations.

That was Rick Fernandez in November 2015, when he started his role as Tallahassee City Manager. Now just over two years later, he's officially resigned or, in his words, retired.

That left the capital city with a void, and commissioners tried to fill that void at Wednesday's special meeting.

Dan Kleman served as city manager for 20 years. Commissioner Nancy Miller said Kleman reached out to her, saying he'd step in as interim.

Mayor Andrew Gillum had another former city manager in mind, Anita Favors-Thompson. WTXL talked to her in 2015 as she retired from office.

Gillum admitted he hadn't talked to her about the idea before bringing it up at the meeting. The commission ended up voting to keep Reese Goad as the Interim City Manager, but the Mayor said the new replacement should be completely separate from current city staff.

We reached out to both Dan Kleman and Anita Favors-Thompson for their thoughts on being potential picks. We're still waiting to hear back from Dan Kleman. 

“Yes, I did hear that Mayor Gillum threw out my name as a potential candidate for Interim City Manager. It caught me by surprise. I will just say at this time that I have invested more than 25 years of my life in assuring that Tallahassee is a great place to live and work. I love the community and it’s citizenry so I would not dismiss without due consideration any proposal to assist temporarily where my involvement is needed, including assisting in recruitment process for the permanent hire," says Favors. 

The commission will take a closer look at the position at its retreat next week.