After the city manager search committee met recently to discuss 4 remaining candidates, in a unanimous consensus and a unanimous decision by city council members Roberto Hernandez, who currently serves as deputy county administrator of Broward County, Florida, has been named the sole finalist for the position of City Manager of Savannah.
According to Mayor Eddie DeLoach, Hernandez has accepted the offer pending contractual negotiations. DeLoach said Hernandez’s hands-on approach, experience in government and energy are some of the qualities that separated him from the other candidates.
According to the Broward County Government website:Hernandez is an ICMA-Credentialed Manager with more than twenty years of progressive and responsible local government management experience. He re-joined Broward County in July 2013 as Deputy County Administrator. Previously, he served as Deputy City Manager for the City of Coral Springs overseeing various city functions as well as the city’s community redevelopment agency.
Prior to Coral Springs, he served as Deputy County Manager for Fulton County, Ga., where he oversaw public safety agencies, unincorporated area services, the Office of the Child Attorney, offender reentry program, and coordinated with the County’s constitutional and judicial agencies.
He previously served Broward County in a variety of capacities from 1994 through 2008, including serving as an Assistant to the County Administrator from November 2003 to June 2008. Rob retired from the U.S. Army Reserves in 2008 after a 23-year career, most recently serving as a senior instructor in civil military operations.
The qualities of the Savannah area and the region including the ports, the proximity to the beach and overall rich history, as well as the military presence attracted Hernandez to make application.
“I was very impressed by the passion from the city council in terms of what they see happening in the city over time, and their strong dedication to the community. That really sold me,” said Hernandez.
While in Fulton County, Hernandez oversaw multiple departments including police, fire and rescue and also served as the county manager’s liaison with judicial agencies.
Mayor DeLoach says he believes Hernandez could come in and start working right away with the police department and judicial services in Savannah to address crime. .
“The need for continued re-investment in certain communities, a progressive strategy for bringing new investment for the community, for growing jobs. For fixing and updating the condition of the infrastructure. Those are the things that everybody goes through, it’s very common. But that’s certainly something that I’m going to have to tackle once I get there,” said Hernandez. The nationwide search for a new city manager began earlier this year when current City Manager Stephanie Cutter announced her retirement.