Savannah City Manager Rob Hernandez announces resignation

Savannah City Council to decide on interim manager

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah City Manager Rob Hernandez has tendered his resignation effective June 30, 2019.

The city says since his arrival in October, 2016, the City has gone through a major restructuring and launched the strategic initiative, Savannah Forward. During this time Savannah has produced a budget surplus approaching $13 million after a one full-budget year. The City has also had its bond rating upgraded to AA+.

“Savannah is a special place,” says Hernandez. “I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve this great city as its city manager. We’ve accomplished a great deal since October 2016 in our journey to make Savannah an extraordinary place to live, learn and prosper. Mercie and I have decided to return to South Florida to help our siblings care for our elderly mothers. As such, I’ve informed city council of my intent to step down from my duties as city manager on June 30, 2019. To that end, I will work very closely with our City Council and staff to ensure a smooth and orderly transition in leadership. I wish all of residents and businesses nothing but the best in their futures.”

The following is the official letter of resignation sent to city leaders on Friday, April 12:

(Source: City of Savannah)
(Source: City of Savannah)

The next step is appointing an interim city manager, and we know from Thursday, Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach said he’s already spoken to retired assistant Chatham County manager, Pat Monahan, who says he’s on board to fill in.

While Monahan is the mayor’s front-runner for interim city manager, Alderman Van Johnson says ultimately, choosing that person is a council decision - one we learned on Friday could be made at a special city council meeting this coming Monday. Johnson had nothing but praise for Monahan, saying the former assistant county manager was very diligent, smart, and reliable in his role. He also says Monahan worked well with people and got the big picture. He says it wasn’t a surprise to hear his name come up as someone to take over the city manager post in the interim. However, Johnson does think all options should be on the table for consideration.

“We’re blessed to actually have several city managers, former city managers, and assistant city managers who live right here in our area,” Alderman Johnson said. “I just think we have to do our due diligence. We have to discuss what our needs are and then determine who’s the individual that best fits our needs, both short-term and long-term.”

Johnson did align with Mayor DeLoach on the notion that a permanent city manager shouldn’t be selected until after the municipal election this fall.

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