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Ocala
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Ocala city manager announces retirement through letter to City Council

Ocala City Manager John Zobler

Ocala City Manager John Zobler has announced plans to retire.

Zobler notified City Council members via a letter on Monday and said he plans to leave his post by Jan. 14 after serving for a little more than five years in the job. He had made a similar decision in May 2018 but eventually decided to stay on with a new two-year contract.

“It has been a pleasure to work for such a supportive and forward-thinking City Council,” Zobler wrote. “With your leadership and vision, city staff has truly accomplished some amazing improvements for our city.”

Zobler also offered praise for those he has worked alongside in the various city departments for the past five years.

“I could not be prouder of their accomplishments and incredible dedication to the city,” he wrote. “It is an honor to have shared in their many successes and I will always remember their priority support of my office.”

City Council members clearly have been happy with Zobler’s performance. In October they gave him an outstanding review with an overall score of 2.88 out of 3. The review included comments that read: “John is a very energetic manager. He leads this City in a great presence. He is well respected among all agencies.” And “Could not ask for more!”

The review contained 12 categories. In six of those – knowledge of job; productivity; interaction with government and professional agencies; ethics and integrity; initiative, drive and willingness to lead; and relationship with other appointed officials – Zobler received perfect marks. In the other six – management of staff and consultants; interaction with the City Council; interaction with the public; professional judgment; communication skills; and fiscal management – he received scores of 2.75.

Ocala City Manager John Zobler, shown during a recent City Council meeting, plans to leave the post he’s held for a little more than five years by Jan. 14.

Zobler was appointed city manager in November 2014 and in that role oversaw more than 1,000 employees and a general fund budget of more than $118.6 million. He served as Ocala’s deputy city manager from December 2010 until his initial retirement in December 2012.

Zobler joined the city’s staff in February 1999 as a sanitation manager and eventually moved all the way to up assistant city manager of community services. Prior to that he worked for Miami-Dade County from 1984-1998.

Zobler is member of the International City/County Managers Association and the Florida City County Management Association. He has a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and a master’s degree from St. Thomas University and serves on the board of the United Way of Marion County as vice chair of the strategic planning division.

City Council members are expected to discuss Zobler’s retirement during their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall.