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City Manager Reese Goad Talks Working With New Commissioners, Restoring Public Trust

City of Tallahassee

Tallahassee’s now-permanent City Manager Reese Goad is looking forward to hitting the ground running now that he’s dropped his ‘interim’ tag. Goad recently spoke with WFSU about his vision for the post, repairing public trust and working with new commissioners.

Goad brings 18 years of working in Tallahassee City Government. He says that, in combination with already having served in an interim capacity, makes for a smooth transition.

“Clearly, having been part of the City organization I can hit the ground running – there is no learning curve,” Goad said. “I understand how the process works, I understand the relationship between the City Manager and the mayor and the city commissioners. So, I think I certainly will take advantage of that experience I’ve had.”

Goad’s predecessor, former City Manager Rick Fernandez, was ousted following a state ethics board investigation. Fernandez was found to have accepted gifts, like pricey football tickets, in his official manager capacity. Now, Goad says restoring public trust in the post is high on his list.

“Public trust is paramount. In all the things that we do, we keep that top of mind – to keep the trust of the public. And that’s the way I see being a public servant, and certainly I take that very seriously and have shared those thoughts with my colleagues. And you continue to embrace those ideals,” Goad said.

Looking forward, Goad says he is excited to work with new members of the Commission as they are inducted following November’s election.

“As I understand, Mayor Gillum and Commissioner Ziffer and Commissioner Miller are leaving office, and they’ll conclude their terms in November,” Goad said. “As much as I’ll miss them, I look forward to a new relationship with three new members of the City Commission. I think that is a great opportunity to learn new people and bring their ideas in.”

Goad was appointed by the City Commission in a 4-1 vote. Meanwhile, controversy remains following Goad’s appointment. Some have suggested the three incoming members of the City Commission should have had a say in filling the position.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.