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Posted: September 15, 2012 7:36 p.m.

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Meet Oxford’s new city manager


Bob Schwartz

Bob Schwartz was hired this week as the new city manager of Oxford and brings with him a wealth of municipal management experience, which he hopes will help him move the small city forward.

Schwartz, 63, comes from Monticello, where he was the city manager, and will take over the top position in Oxford around Oct. 15. Oxford has only had a city manager government for a little more than a year, and Schwartz's experience should be useful as the city continues its transition.

"I feel Oxford is a city where I can help the council improve the city. I enjoyed interviewing with the council," Schwartz said in an email. "They asked intelligent and searching questions. I want to join them in working to move Oxford forward."

Oxford will be the smallest city (2,134 residents as of 2010 Census) and has the second smallest budget ($4 million) of any organization Schwartz has worked with in the past.

Monticello had a 2010 population of 2,657, a budget of $9.7 million this fiscal year and 34 employees.

Schwartz also spent 18 years as the executive director of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service at the University of Tennessee, which had a budget of $6.5 million and a staff of 58. The organization provides technical assistance to 347 city governments in Tenn. in a variety of areas, including engineering, finance, human resources, legal assistance and public works.

He also worked for more than two years as the city administrator in Americus, which had a population around 17,000 with around 200 employees and a budget of $12 million, and spent five years as the administrator in Garden City, which had a population of more than 8,000.
Monticello Mayor Bryan Standifer said he was sad to lose a great city manager, but said Oxford is getting one of the best out there.

"Bob is very professional and detail oriented," Standifer said. "His expertise will definitely help the city of Oxford."

When asked what he would miss the most about Schwartz, Standifer said, "the high standards he has for city employees and departments and that strategic vision in moving the city forward."

One of Schwartz's most significant accomplishments in Monticello was helping the city cut back operations in the midst of a free-falling economy.

"Monticello has been fiscally challenged for the last several years. I was able to help the council work through a series of layoffs as we reduced the size of our city staff from 45 to 34. We were also able to work with our city staff to keep our level of services as high as possible," Schwartz said.

As for the move to Oxford, Schwartz said he was looking forward to working with Oxford College, which he called a special bonus, as well as the other cities in Newton County, particularly Covington, since Monticello is fairly isolated in Jasper County.

Schwartz will continue to live in Jasper County, where's he's been very involved, including serving as a school mentor, secretary of the Monticello Kiwanis Club and at his local church.

"I look forward to meeting the citizens of Oxford. I particularly want to meet John and Anntolea Cody of East Soule Street," Schwartz said. "I have worked the last two years with their son Mr. Waymon Cody, who is the Water and Sewer Superintendent in Monticello. He has always told how much he enjoyed growing up in Oxford."


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