Meet Reese Goad, Tallahassee’s new city manager

Reese Goad during a City Manager interview.
Photo Courtesy of

Reese Goad is a longtime servant of the Tallahassee community. Serving as a member of the Tallahassee city government since 2000, Goad said in an email, “I have the pleasure of serving when our community is experiencing growth like no other time in recent history.” Goad was chosen to replace Rick Fernandez who was forced out while under investigation for ethics violations.

Longtime City Commissioner Scott Maddox was asked about the new appointee for the city manager job. "I've been through four city manager changes, and this community has done very well with professional people at the helm, regardless of what happens in elections," he said. "You have city commissioners that serve, and then, they move on — and you have new ones come in. A good, strong manager can weather all of that and continue to move the city forward."

Tallahassee mayor and now gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was said Goad “has proved he has the skills to fill the position,” according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Goad had recently served as both interim and deputy city manager. Goad served as the director of Utility Business for Tallahassee in addition to his new position. Goad was recently interviewed by email about his new official undertaking.

FAMUAN: What do you think uniquely sets you apart from city managers of the past?

Goad: We’ve been extremely fortunate in Tallahassee to have great leaders, including our former City Manager Anita Favors, who served for 25 years and laid the groundwork for exciting projects like FAMU Way. With the impending completion of this project and more transformational projects on the horizon, I have the pleasure of serving when our community is experiencing growth like no other time in recent history.

FAMUAN: What are some ideas you have for Tallahassee that you would like to implement?

GOAD: Tallahassee is wonderfully unique. From our beautiful tree canopies to our thriving business community, we are known for offering a high quality of life for residents. To meet the needs of our growing community, it’s important that we continue to focus on key areas, such as affordable housing, senior services and pedestrian mobility and safety. As a Tree City USA, Tallahassee’s canopy is an iconic element of the community, and the urban forestry master plan currently under development will continue to safeguard this beloved feature, especially along community gateways.

FAMUAN: What do you think about the current direction the city is going in (fund allocation, optimizing spaces the city already has occupied, etc.)?

GOAD: The city has made great gains because of strategic efforts to reduce crime, invest in infrastructure and encourage a growing economy. This month, the City Commission will approve the City’s annual budget of approximately $900 million allocated in a way that ensures the overarching values of our citizens are reflected in the level and quality of services provided by the City.

FAMUAN: Is there a vision you hope to reach while in office (see Tallahassee as a metro, be more of a family friendly town, etc.)?

GOAD: I am honored that the City Commission selected me to serve as Tallahassee's City Manager overseeing a highly skilled and diverse workforce of nearly 3,000 dedicated employees who strive to make Tallahassee a place we are proud to call home. With the Commission's support, I am prepared to lead this organization into the future with a commitment to financial stability, quality service delivery and an unequivocal standard of ethical decision-making. I see Tallahassee as a vibrant city with a high quality of life that attracts families and is a destination. As a thought leader, the city will embrace and share new, innovative ideas that will move our community forward and inspire others.

FAMUAN: What would be your dream business to have in the Tallahassee community?

GOAD: We can all be proud that Tallahassee enjoys the benefits of having a strong and diverse business community that supports a stable local economy. The city works to foster a healthy environment where all types of businesses can grow and expand. Additionally, Tallahassee has one of the nation’s most educated workforces, thanks to FAMU and other post-secondary educational institutions, ready to meet businesses’ needs.