|Board cites Hunzeker’s leadership, qualifications in retaining him beyond 2014
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Jan. 29, 2013) – Citing the need to continue the positive direction county government has taken over the past six years, Manatee County Commission today voted to extend the contract of County Administrator Ed Hunzker until Jan. 29, 2018, almost four years beyond his expected retirement date.
Following the County Administrator’s Annual Report to the Board on Jan. 8, the Commission unanimously moved to explore retaining Hunzeker. Over the past two weeks Hunzeker and Commission Chairman Larry Bustle worked on the agreement which was praised as a fair offer that recognizes the Administrator’s significant achievements to local government and to the community.
“(Hunzeker’s) innovative leadership is almost unprecedented in Manatee County,” Bustle said. “I believe it’s truly beneficial to keep him on board and to continue our progress. The numerous examples of his leadership and management success have led to some huge cost savings and improved the way the county operates.”
Hunzeker was hired as County Administrator in 2007. Since that time, County Government has been reduced by nearly 300 positions and its operating budget has been reduced by $142 million or about 25 percent. Hunzeker reduced the size of government without broad service cuts to the community.
“You do not get rid of your leader when your business is doing well,” said Commissioner Betsy Benac. “Good leadership is hard to find and there are not a lot of people around with his experience. Amazing changes have happened here that have made this a customer friendly organization.”
All Commissioners lauded Hunzeker’s business acumen and leadership during difficult times. Numerous community and business leaders spoke in support of the new contract. Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston said Hunzeker has done a “wonderful job,” has exceeded the community’s high expectations and that Hunzeker cares about local municipalities.
Beall’s Director of Government Affairs Bill Webster added that Hunzeker is a competent, effective and stable leader who has guided the Commission through difficult economic times without proposing a tax increase to offset deep revenue losses.
During his tenure, Hunzeker transformed the Manatee County Building Department into a responsive and efficient arm of local government that has served as a model for others around the region. Hunzker also mapped out the Board-approved local plan for job creation and retention. Manatee’s Economic Development Incentive package offers performance-based incentives to businesses that create or retain quality local jobs. More than 4,000 jobs may be created over the next five years as a direct result from that package.
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.