City commission appoints Rick Fernandez new city manager
By Nadia Felder
As the ruling of Anita Favors-Thompson ends, the beginning of new City Manager Ricardo “Rick” Fernandez has just begun.
Fernandez was voted in by the Tallahassee City Commission to become the newest City Manager on Nov. 10. His duties as City Manager will begin on Nov. 21, and from then on, he will report directly to the City Commission.
Since April, 2015, Fernandez has been noted as the “top candidate” for the position, considering Anita Favors-Thompson will retire at the end of the week.
“Rick Fernandez has worked at an executive leadership level in Tallahassee and in Dallas, TX for more than 20 years and he has the skills to do the job and do it well,” said Favors-Thompson.
“I am sure that this community will engage with him and keep him informed on what is important to Tallahassee citizens,” added Favors-Thompson.
Prior to his promotion, he has worked closely with Favors-Thompson for what seems to be a smooth transition.
“It was my pleasure to work alongside City Manager Anita Favors-Thompson for more than 20 years,” said Fernandez. “I remain dedicated to working with city employees to meet the needs of our community.”
As City Manager, Fernandez will be responsible for maintaining the management functions of the city government and administering the day-to-day operations. Since he will be working closely with the City Commission, he will provide oversight of their meeting agenda process, as well as oversee short-term targets, to guide operations of the city government.
Besides overseeing meetings, Fernandez has a bigger responsibility under his belt involving the city’s budget.
In less than two weeks, Fernandez will be responsible for an approximate total of 2,800 staff members as well as an annual budget of $852.5 million, which includes both the operating and capital budgets.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to lead the City of Tallahassee,” Fernandez stated.
“The City Commission has entrusted me with a great responsibility, and I’m honored to take the helm as we work together to build a strong, innovative and vibrant community,” added Fernandez.
Fernandez has been working for Tallahassee for more than 27 years, since 1988, when the Commission appointed him as City Auditor. His recent responsibility was serving as the Assistant City Manager of Utility Services overseeing Electric and Underground Utilities, Solid Waste, Business Services, Star Metro, Golf Courses and Fleet Management.
Previously he worked as an audit supervisor for four years as well as an auditor in banking, for the City of Dallas, TX.
Even Mayor Andrew Gillum was admired by Fernandez’s service to the city stating,“Rick has a distinguished track record…and has excelled in every position he has held.”
Mayor Gillum also added that he was “confident in his leadership.”