Homestead City Manager Cate McCaffrey.

 Homestead City Manager Cate McCaffrey. 

Homestead City Manager Cate McCaffrey has told Mayor Losner and Council of her intention to retire, effective February 9, 2022.

McCaffrey has lead the City of Homestead as it’s executive officer since accepting a three year contract from Council on January 22, 2020. She had previously served as Assistant City Manager for six years under the leadership of the previous City Manager George Gretsas, and was appointed as interim city manager on January 4, 2020 upon Gretsas resignation.

In Homestead, the City Manager is responsible for implementing the City Council's priorities and objectives and overseeing the effective delivery of services, projects, and programs. The City Manager oversees the preparation and administration of a balanced annual budget. And they provide organizational leadership to all city departments and operations.

“It has been a distinct honor and privilege to have served as City Manager. I am proud to have been a part of a team that has worked collaboratively and accomplished so much these past years. After more than five decades of working, I know that it is time to retire and enjoy the days before me with my family. I leave with great confidence that there is a team in place positioned to build on these successes and to continue serving this community with the utmost professionalism.” said McCaffrey.

Said Mayor Losner in a prepared statement, “Last night when she revealed the news, she also indicated the decision was made a few months ago but she did not want it to become a campaign issue. She assured me that her departure is not due to anything that has transpired at the City but that she recognized it is time for her to enjoy life after decades of work, including as a New York City police officer.

Losner continued, “Although I did not support her promotion to City Manager at the time, our working relationship has evolved and we have been in accord on most issues and have worked creatively to solve problems. In light of many significant proposals now pending, her calm insight and resolve will be missed and we need to quickly work to set the wheels of progress in motion prior to her departure. She is loved and respected by city staff. “

In conclusion Losner stated, “It is my belief that the next City Manager should be chosen through the result of a national search and the position should be occupied by one with no allegiance or bias with respect to any department head or elected official. The next Manager would ideally have few or no familial, social or political ties to Homestead. Furthermore, I believe the next manager should live in the city limits and preferably have immediate family ingrained in the community through schools, youth leagues, their place of worship and employment location of their spouse or partner. In this manner, our next City Manager will be in a position to have a clear and first hand understanding of the everyday issues facing Homestead residents and business owners. It is my hope that our next City Manager will be at or near the zenith of their career, contemplating several more years of work; comfortable in their ability to stand by a recommendation or action without having to wake up every morning and “count to four.” (votes) Losner concluded his statement by saying, “The selection of the next City Manager is not an endeavor that should be colored by oppositional politics or personality. It is my hope that as you have the opportunity to do so, you will encourage my fellow elected officials to act in a professional manner and avoid the temptation to take the easy course of action. We have all suffered through many poor choices resulting from the ill advised naming of a city manager and to repeat those mistakes now could potentially destroy the tremendous opportunities on the horizon for Homestead.

Councilmember Patricia Fairclough-Staggers stated, “Cate McCaffrey's tenure with the city since 2014 has been stellar. As the first female city manager, her representation in that seat serves as inspiration to all young ladies in our community to understand that they too can hold the key to high ranking positions.

Cate has been very instrumental in delivering key projects on time and under budget. Her hands on approach and commitment to this city will be missed. I look forward to playing an active role in determining who our next city manager will be. One that has the skill and the will to effectively serve our city.”

Councilmember Larry Roth said, “I am honored to have served with a leader who continued to move the city forward through some of the toughest times. I'm happy for Cate in her decision, will miss her very much and wish her nothing but happiness in her next chapter."

And Councilmember Erica Avila stated, “While I am heavy-hearted at the thought of Cate McCaffrey no longer being our City Manager, her announcement to retire is bittersweet as I celebrate her opportunity to enjoy life after extended tenure as a public servant. As our executive officer, Cate is responsible for effectively implementing our priorities and objectives, and she has done so exceptionally. The services, projects, and programs brought to the citizens of Homestead under her management have been a tremendous feat. During her leadership, the City of Homestead has propelled to a higher level, improving quality of life during some of the most challenging times anyone could imagine while navigating through COVID-19.”

Avila noted in conclusion, “Working with Cate has been a positive experience in which I have grown as both a professional and as a public servant. I owe her a debt of gratitude for her guidance and wisdom as she helped me gain a better grasp on the many intricacies relating to city matters. Cate leaves behind strong relationships she built within our departments. Her direct staff and city-wide department leaders feel empowered and encouraged to do the best they can to serve our great city which is a blessing for all of us. Many have confirmed to me that she has ‘always been great to work with, always listens to concerns and always helps to resolve them.’ It will be a challenge to fill those shoes, but I wish her the best in all her endeavors throughout her retirement.”

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