Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad has introduced two new departments. Goad announced the two additions at the city commission’s ethics workshop last week.
The announcement also comes after Goad faced public scrutiny from Commissioner Jeremy Matlow. After 11 months in the position, Matlow gave Goad a 1.4 out of 5, published his performance review on Twitter and said he had lost all confidence in Goad as the city manager. The remaining commissioners and the mayor said they support Goad in his position.
Despite Matlow’s criticism of Goad, the city manager wants to continue to improve the way the city operates. “It’s the job of the city manager to build consensus,” Goad said. “We’re a service-based organization.”
The new departments are the Department of Community Services and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. These organizational changes are a part of the city’s proposed five-year strategic plan, according to a press release.
The Department of Community Services is home to the programs Tallahassee Engaged in Meaningful Productivity for Opportunity and the Tallahassee Future Leaders Academy. The department’s new head, Kimball Thomas, is the current youth program director of TEMPO and has had over 600 participants with a recidivism rate of zero percent since the program’s founding in 2017. This department will also address homelessness issues.
Goad spoke to the success of Thomas and the TEMPO program at the meeting. “The program that I am most proud of is our TEMPO program. It intends to engage our disconnected youth,” said Goad. “I couldn’t be more proud of it because we are moving forward and we’re going to set an example.”
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion was created to “ensure the city’s workforce is reflective of the community’s demographics,” according to the press release. The department will create a strategy for recruiting, retaining and promoting diverse candidates for positions with the city.
Tallahassee’s population of almost 200,000 is predominantly white at almost 57 percent with the African American community coming in second at 35 percent. The remaining demographics are reflected in single digits like the Asian community at 4 percent, two or more races at 2.5 percent and others at 1 percent. This department’s purpose is to make sure that the city’s employee base represents the minority demographics.
The manager of talent development in human resources and workforce development, Angela Hendrieth, will lead the department as the chief diversity officer. Hendrieth has 15 years of experience in equity and workforce development with the city. In this new role, Hendrieth will report directly to the city manager.
The announcement of the two new departments came prior to a ceremonial vote by the commission in support of Goad. Appreciating the 4-1 vote in his favor, Goad spoke to the prior success of the city and the potential that the two new programs have.
“Mr. Mayor and commissioners, we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Goad said. “With your vision we’re moving forward and we’re eager to implement it. Thank you for your confidence.”
For more on the departments visit here.