Rokovitz Hired as Hiram City Manager
The Hiram City Council on Tuesday approved the hire of Robbie Rokovitz, who most recently served as Cedartown’s city manager.
Robbie Rokovitz had already put some hours into his new job when the Hiram City Council confirmed his hire Tuesday.
Councilmen during a called meeting Tuesday evening approved a contract between the city and Rokovitz for the position of city manager. Rokovitz, who most recently served as Cedartown’s city manager, was tapped for Hiram’s city manager spot last month pending a contract between him and the city; he had been one of six candidates named as a finalist for the job.
Rokovitz, who took his oath of office after his contract was approved, succeeds interim City Manager Billy Beckett, who began serving on a temporary basis in June. Beckett’s contract was set to run through Thursday after it was extended last month to allow for a transition period, but Tuesday was his last day, as Mayor Doris Devey said he was able to complete his duties early. Beckett, she said, had prepared a transition document for Rokovitz, who began working Tuesday.
Rokovitz has served in local government since 1993, when he began as a 911 communications officer with the city of Alpharetta. He has also served as Alpharetta’s assistant to the city administrator and was Holly Springs’ city manager before heading to Cedartown.
One of Rokovitz’s first major duties in Hiram will be to help the city prepare a fiscal year 2013 budget, which Devey said is currently in the works and could be approved by the end of this month. The city continues to operate on its fiscal year 2012 budget despite being in FY2013.
Devey said that while officials’ search for a city manager did not delay the budget process, the timing of Rokovitz’s hire would allow him to offer his input on it.
“Mr. Beckett was very good at implementing what we needed to do, because we changed our format of how we do our budgets to make it much easier for everybody to understand,” Devey said. “But yet, when you’re getting a new permanent city manager, that person also has to be able to have to input into it, and as Mr. Beckett would say, ‘put his own stamp of approval on it,’ because he’s the one who is going to have to work with this budget for a year.
“It was not a holdup per se that we were waiting until we got our permanent city manager—it just happened to flow that way where [Beckett] was leaving, he left us in a very good state, he got us great candidates [for city manager], he was able to get our budget moving forward, our department heads have been working diligently on getting this all completed. And now [Rokovitz] can come in, and this being his first day, he’s been overwhelmed with all of us, but he can actually sit down and study it, and put his input and his fingerprint on it, because it may be our budget for the city, but he’s going to be held responsible for it.”
Rokovitz’s hire ends the city’s months-long process to obtain a city manager. In February, councilmen approved a measure to amend the city charter to allow for the addition of a city manager to the payroll. The amendment to the city charter then was required to be submitted as a piece of legislation before state lawmakers—it went before the Georgia General Assembly and received its approval, and Gov. Nathan Deal signed the piece of legislation soon thereafter.
Also given their respective oaths of office Tuesday night were Darrin Keaton, who will serve as the city’s prosecuting attorney/solicitor, and Linda Caldwell, who will be the city’s indigent public defender. The council approved contracts with the two last month.
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