BRADENTON – Following the County Administrator’s Annual Report to the Manatee County Commission Tuesday, Commissioners moved to begin contract extension negotiations to retain Ed Hunzeker beyond his planned 2014 retirement date. Hunzeker is currently in the Florida Retirement System's DROP Program and was scheduled to retire in August of 2014 after serving as Manatee County Administrator since 2007.
“(Hunzeker) has accomplished many money saving measures in his time here and he’s given us a peek of an ambitious agenda ahead,” Commission Chairman Larry Bustle said of Hunzeker. “Ed’s leadership is vital. I think it’s a bad time to let him go.”
The rest of the BOCC unanimously authorized the Chair to enter contract extension talks with Hunzeker, who served as Hillsborough's assistant administrator and then Osceola County Administrator before being hired by Manatee. The motion came on the heels of Hunzeker's report, which touted the success of Manatee's efforts to reduce employee health care costs through an emphasis on preventative care and healthy lifestyles.
“County Commission policies and the efforts of our remarkable staff have put Manatee County on the cutting edge of some innovative projects and programs that are making a difference in lives,” Hunzeker said. “Counties around the state and the region are looking to Manatee County as an innovator and a leader. We have a clear opportunity to become a leader in other areas not only in 2013 but for years to come.”
Hunzeker is 65 and is currently enrolled in the DROP program of the Florida Retirement Service. His annual salary is about $170,000.