At a Commission Meeting on Wednesday, January 4, Erdal Dönmez announced his retirement, effective April 28, 2017. Dönmez was appointed City Manager in November 2010 after serving for 10 years as Deputy/Assistant City Manager.
“On an exciting, and rather sad note on my part, is my announcement to retire. I’ve been working 17 years in Coral Springs and 16 years prior to that in the City of Miami. I believe there is no perfect time to retire, but this is probably as good as it gets. I’m very humbled and proud to have been your City Manager. I want to thank all of you – the Commissioners and senior staff. I truly enjoyed working with all of you.”
The City Commission accepted his resignation with regret but thanked him for his years of service.
“You took the City from an unstable position in the midst of a recession and brought it back to being one of the best cities around. We refocused on making improvements, on cleaning up the City, making it a better place to live and that’s unbelievable commendable. I want to thank you for your years of service to the community,” Vice Mayor Dan Daley said.
“You’ve done a heck of a job as City Manager. The entire City is grateful to have you and your leadership. Congratulations on your retirement,” Commissioners Larry Vignola added.
“You put together a team that’s going to be hard to beat and we are going to miss you. Good luck to you and we understand [your decision] fully,” Commissioner Lou Cimaglia said.
“I have learned a lot and you’ve been a great leader. You’ve done a great job with your senior management team and you are going to be missed,” Commissioner Joy Carter added.
“I have had the greatest trust in your work and professionalism,” Mayor Skip Campbell said.
“It is truly a beautiful day, a day of celebration. We have a City Manager who has the support of the Commission, his staff and community and you’ve decided to retire and enjoy this next stage in your life. It’s been a pleasure to work with you, and your commitment to the City has been amazing,” City Attorney John Hearn said.
Under his leadership, the City had many great accomplishments in the past year alone, including:
- City’s AAA rating re-affirmed by two out of three major credit rating agencies.
- Added $3M to reserves and finished Fiscal Year 2016 with a surplus, with all positions and programs fully funded.
- Maintained one the lowest millage rates and fees in Broward County.
- Employee satisfaction remains strong at 94%.
- Crime rate continues on a positive trend, coming in below the annual goal of 2,500 for the third consecutive year.
- The Fire Department launched the Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program, which makes medical house calls.
- Coral Springs Charter School remains A-rated for the 13th consecutive year.
- Completed many of the General Obligation Bonds projects, including the expansion of the Police Department’s CSI building, built a new Safety Town building, and expanded the Humane Building. New Fire Stations 43 and 95 are expected to be completed in early 2017.
- Broke ground on the new Municipal Complex, which is expected to be completed by Fall 2017.
- Increased our social media presence and hosted Facebook “Live” videos to keep residents informed.
- Developed new programs for seniors, including Learn to Speak French and Senior Speaker Series.
- Started online registrations for almost all recreation classes.
- Piloted a “City Day of Service” program including employees, volunteers and other community stakeholders in several community service projects.
- Continued to receive outstanding ratings according to the latest business survey results, with an Overall Quality Rating of 96%.
- Expanded the existing Economic Development Pilot Program to add more flexibility with respect to the Land Development Code.
- Welcomed many new businesses to Coral Springs, including Total Wine, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Orchard Supply & Hardware.
- The Sawgrass Trailhead at Atlantic Boulevard was completed.
- Hosted dozens of athletic events at our parks and facilities.
- Renovated many City facilities, including the Aquatic Complex, Gymnasium and Waste Transfer Station.
Dönmez also expressed his appreciation to the City employees, who deliver exemplary service to the public. “I believe that in the past 17 years, I learned much about myself, the community and how to manage an organization of $200M budget. On top of that, it was the most difficult of economic times. It was a huge responsibility and I believe with everybody’s help, we managed to make the City, in almost every area, equal or better. I’m so grateful to have the Commission and staff working in harmony. We are truly an example to public and private companies, and I am very proud to say that,” Dönmez added.
The City Commission will discuss the possibility of conducting a national search at an upcoming meeting.