City Manager Announces Retirement Date Service to Tallahassee Spans 25 Years

St.Maarten Leader of Government William Marlin presenting a plaque of appreciation to Anita Favors Thompson at City Hall Tallahassee 2010.

Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors Thompson announced that she will retire effective November 20, 2015.

“When I became City Manager in 1997, I made the commitment to always put people first and to focus on providing the best services possible to meet the needs of our community,” Favors Thompson said. “Through my 25 years working for the city and through challenges and accomplishments, I’ve never wavered in my belief that a city’s greatest asset is its people. From elected leaders to business owners, from citizens to city staff, we have accomplished so much by working in partnership for a city we love.”

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Under Favors Thompson’s leadership, the City of Tallahassee has been twice named an All-America City, in 1999 and 2015. It’s Parks and Recreation Department was named the Best in America in 2004, and Tallahassee was honored as a Green City in 2008 for actions to preserve and protect its natural resources. In 2012, Your Own Utilities became the No.1 Public Utility in America, and this year, the Underground Utilities Department won the prestigious Governor’s Sterling Award.

“Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors Thompson has been a firm supporter of the Tallahassee-St. Maarten partnership since 1999 and the Tallahassee St. Maarten Foundation (TLH-SXMF). The Government of St. Maarten would like to wish her much success in her retirement….She also chose St. Maarten to get married to her husband Larry Thompson, so she has lasting memories of our friendly island having been here several times.

“Bernard Hunt, Russell Bell, Diana Fleming, Calvin Mardembrough, Erno Labega also take time out to wish her much success in the future and also to let her know that our friendship continues. We all have enjoyed a great relationship with Tallahassee our sister city in Florida USA. Her never ending support towards our students with the Links organization was also very important to our Students and Government,” said Executive Director TLH-SXMF Arthur Lugisse.

“She had the opportunity and pleasure to meet with several of our Government officials on many occasions while serving as City Manager of Tallahassee.  Julian Rollocks – Elton Jones – leader of the United People’s Party Theodore Heyliger – Leader of Democratic Party Sarah Wescot Williams – Leader National Alliance William Marlin – Maria Buncamper Molanus- Commissioner of Finance Xavier Blackman, Claudette Labega Forsythe head of Study Financing and David Christian represented Commissioner Frans Richardson. She will be missed in that position but remembered for her continuing support of St. Maarten,” Mr. Lugisse said.

During Favors Thompson’s years as City Manager, the landscape of the Tallahassee area has changed, growing from 135,000 to more than 200,000 in population. She has managed a diverse staff of 2,800 employees and overseen a budget of $706.1 million. Tallahassee has one of the most complex city organizations in the nation, providing electric, natural gas, water, sewer, police, fire and transit services; an international airport; and a full range of community facilities. Key priorities over the last 20 years include the Trousdell Gymnastics and Aquatics Center, Jack McLean Park, Cascades Park, Gaines Street and associated retail/housing, downtown enhancements (Kleman Plaza, Chain of Parks, new developments), Blair Stone Road, Capital Circle improvements, and the upcoming unveiling of FAMU Way. Programs were implemented to help lower utility costs, including the Neighborhood REACH Program that has assisted more than 10,000 families with a variety of home improvements.

“As I reflect on all that has been accomplished, I’m proud to have been a part of helping to create an even more vibrant community and a place I will forever call home,” Favors Thompson added.

A native of Kansas, Favors Thompson moved to Tallahassee in February 1990 to serve as an Assistant City Manager working with City Manager Dan Kleman. She was appointed Senior Assistant City Manager in 1994 and then named City Manager by the Tallahassee City Commission on April 1, 1997. Prior to that, she held a variety of city and state government positions in Kansas.

At the April 29, 2015, City Commission Workshop, Assistant City Manager Ricardo Fernandez was named City Manager in Training by the City Commission. The timeframe and details for hiring a new city manager will be determined by the City Commission.

City Manager since April, 1997, she is responsible for administration of all city services, encompassing 2,810 City employees, an operating budget of $689.2 million and a five-year capital improvement plan of $764 million.

Under City Manager Favors Thompson’s leadership, in June of 1999, the City of Tallahassee was named an “All America” City, its Parks and Recreation Department was named the Best in America in 2004, and Tallahassee was named a Green City in 2008 for actions to preserve and protect its natural resources. Within City government, she has focused staff on excellent customer service and ethical behavior, and Tallahassee residents have repeatedly expressed strong support for quality City services with an 80 percent approval rating in citizen surveys.

Her professional experience included a variety of top management positions including Executive Director of the Area Agency on Aging in Kansas City; Assistant to the Finance Commissioner in Kansas City, Kansas; Assistant City Administrator, Kansas City, Kansas; Commissioner of Adult Services for the Kansas State Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services; Senior Assistant City Manager, City of Tallahassee; and her current role as City Manager for the City of Tallahassee. In her current position as City Manager since April, 1997, she is responsible for administration of all city services, encompassing 2,810 City employees, an operating budget of $689.2 million and a five-year capital improvement plan of $764 million.

Under City Manager Favors Thompson’s leadership, in June of 1999, the City of Tallahassee was named an “All America” City, its Parks and Recreation Department was named the Best in America in 2004, and Tallahassee was named a Green City in 2008 for actions to preserve and protect its natural resources. Within City government, she has focused staff on excellent customer service and ethical behavior, and Tallahassee residents have repeatedly expressed strong support for quality City services with an 80 percent approval rating in citizen surveys. Ms. Favors Thompson has served on the Board of Directors for Public Technology, Inc., the International City/County Management Association and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, and as Vice President and member of the Florida City/County Management Association. She is also a former board member of United Way and served as the 2008 Regional Chair, served as Co-Chair of the Tallahassee Heart Walk with her husband Larry in 2007 and has been a volunteer and board member of Tallahassee Habitat for Humanity. She is a member of the Alumnae chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Bethel AME Church.

Ms. Favors Thompson has received two gubernatorial appointments: She was appointed to the Government Accountability to the People Commission from 1992 to 1994 by the late Florida Governor Lawton Chiles, and was appointed to the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights from 1982 to 1985 by Kansas Governor John Carlin.

Ms. Favors Thompson is married to Larry Thompson. She has three adult children.

Source: 721 news City Manager Announces Retirement Date Service to Tallahassee Spans 25 Years

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