Hollywood’s assistant city manager may soon take over as the city’s top administrator.
At a meeting Wednesday, Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark said she would be “privileged and thrilled to be the next manager.”
“If the commission decides that that’s the direction they want to go, then I want to go with them,” said Swanson-Rivenbark.
Last week, the commission appointed Swanson-Rivenbark as the acting city manager after City Manager Douglas Hewett resigned. Hewett, who had been with the city for 14 weeks, was forced to resign last week after details of his April Dui arrest came to light in late May.
At the time, the commission directed City Attorney Jeff Sheffel to work out a contract with Swanson-Rivenbark, who has been with the city for three years.
Swanson-Rivenbark said Wednesday she has agreed to serve as the acting manager and is working on a contract that will come before the commission on June 20.
“I was not going to rush this,” she said.
This is not the first time Swanson-Rivenbark has stepped in as the city’s top administrator.
When Cameron Benson was forced to resign a year ago, Swanson-Rivenbark stepped in as the city conducted a nationwide search for a new leader.
At the time, Swanson-Rivenbark said she would not vie for the position. She said Wednesday that she has been overwhelmed by the support of the commission and the residents.
During her tenure as the interim manager Swanson-Rivenbark grappled with a $38 million budget deficit, a pesky clock on the water tower that didn’t work and controversial salary and pension cuts.
On Wednesday, Mayor Peter Bober said he is supportive of Swanson-Rivenbark taking over, saying she is the best fit for the position.
“She has proven herself,” said Bober. “She performed very well under very difficulty circumstances.”
Also at the meeting, the commission — acting as the Community Development Agency Board — approved an agreement with the developers of the old Great Southern Hotel. The time clock is now ticking on Gold Coast Florida Regional Center — which is building another project in Hollywood Circle — to pay the city $1.3 million. The cost covers the expense the city had in acquiring the land through eminent domain earlier this year.
The developer has plans to build an $80 million project dubbed Young Circle Commons. The project will include about 230 apartment units and retail space.
Board members said Wednesday that they had little faith the project would be built, but approved the agreement because it meant the company now has two years to build and pay back the city.
“They are going to find out soon that this is not going to work,” said Commissioner Beam Furr.