Fort Lauderdale’s City Manager George Gretsas sailed through his interview with the Scottsdale, Arizona City Council on Friday for the Manger’s job there with little fanfare. Gretsas was joined in the interview with the other two finalists for the job, Clearfield City, Utah Manager Chris Hillman and Scottsdale’s Acting Manager David Richert. Many believe Acting Manager Richert is favored for the post.
A decision is expected early next week.
The interview with Gretsas had only minor problems – mostly, the pronunciation of Gretsas’s name! The first Councilman addressed him as Mr. Gretis, and another referred to him as Mr. Jetsas! Gretsas did not correct either Councilman.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
……. Gretsas on his tenure in Fort Lauderdale - “through smart management” is how Gretsas described how he turned the City’s financial problems around after he arrived in Fort Lauderdale six years ago.. He pointed to the 73 million in built up reserves, a reduced tax rate, a strong bond rating, and a lower crime rate during his stint as Fort Lauderdale Manager ( Gretsas didn’t mention the explosion of property values that flooded the City coffers with 100′s of millions in new revenue during those years !)
…… Gretsas on City improvements on his watch – we built ” a lot of Fire stations”, implemented a 450 million dollar project to improve the City’s water - wastewater system, and have new luxury hotels coming up on the beach -” our five star approach” he added.
……. Gretsas on his difficulties in Fort Lauderdale – There was some pushback, he conceded. He said “blowback and scar tissue” was just a by product of the job. He said if the controversy is “directed at me instead of my bosses, I’ve done my job”. He said his major problem in Fort Lauderdale was centered around him being ” a lightening rod” during Police Union negotiations. He added that he was ” not afraid to carry out the mission of my bosses”.
……. Gretsas (reported in Arizona paper) on his current standing in Fort Lauderdale – “I’m still in negotiations with the Mayor [Seiler] .