In an email to elected officials and City staff, Savannah City Manager Rob Hernandez said goodbye and announced his official resignation from the office after a controversial two and a half year tenure.
His resignation is effective June 30.
Excerpts from the letter:
"I joined the City on the heels of Hurricane Matthew on October 11, 2016, and since then we’ve weathered literal and figurative storms and overcame numerous obstacles in providing exceptional municipal services. We accomplished much during this time while simultaneously creating an organizational spirit focused on one simple concept: Forward," he writes.
"Forward is a fanatical passion for momentum, progress and achievement. It is an obsession with what is possible rather than the status quo. It is the driver behind our biggest accomplishment - SAVANNAH FORWARD, our guide to strategic policy-making and investments through 2025," Hernandez writes.
Hernandez went on to cite accomplishments including a budget surplus "approaching $13 million after one full budget year"; upgrading the City's bond rating to AA+; reestablishing the Savannah Police Department and lowering crime after a controversial de-merger; reducing the size of the City's workforce; expanding economic opportunities for city businesses "through new disadvantaged business enterprise, sheltered market, and local hire programs"; and "restricted hotel density in the landmark national historic district; and limited short- term vacation rentals."
Perhaps controversially, Hernandez also referenced that during his tenure the City "Shed obsolete real estate and relocated employees into healthier, more productive work environments."
One such deal, the sale of the iconic Gamble Building, fell through even as employees are set to take up new, leased offices.