Jonathan Evans leaving Sarasota County to become city manager in Riviera Beach

Assistant county administrator’s last day to be March 3

Jonathan Evans listens to discussion during the Nov. 22, 2016 County Commission meeting. Rachel Hackney photo

Assistant Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Evans will be leaving his position to become city manager in Riviera Beach, the county has announced.

On Feb. 15, the Riviera Beach City Council approved his contract with the municipality, which is located in Palm Beach County, The Sarasota News Leader confirmed.

Riviera Beach, with a population of slightly more than 33,000, is located just north of West Palm Beach.

Evans’ final day with Sarasota County will be March 3.

Prior to coming to Sarasota in August 2016, Evans served as city manager of Haines City, which is in Polk County.

“We wish Jonathan all the best in his new role with the City of Riviera Beach, and we thank him for his public service to Sarasota County,” said County Administrator Tom Harmer in a county news release.

Evans’ areas of responsibility for Sarasota County were the community development/infrastructure departments: Planning and Development Services; Public Utilities; Public Works; Sarasota County Area Transit; and Business and Economic Development, the release noted. During his tenure, he was part of the county team working to extend The Legacy Trail. (See the related story in this issue.)

On June 21, 2016, Rick Sloan, public safety director of Haines City, told the county commissioners it was a sad day for his community, because Evans would be leaving it to move to Sarasota County if the board approved Evans’ hiring.

Sloan added praise for Evans: “He’s very ethical, very motivated and he’s a team builder.”

After the County Commission vote of approval, then-Commissioner Christine Robinson told Sloan, “My regrets to Haines City.’

In county news release about his departure, Evans said, “As I embark on this new journey, I’m eternally grateful for the opportunities that Sarasota County has provided me.” Evans added that he is excited about the challenges and opportunities lying ahead in Riviera Beach. “I know that being a city manager is what comes naturally to me and that this move will allow me to continue to learn and grow in the profession.”

An aerial map shows the City of Riviera Beach. Image from Google Maps

“We felt that with his experience at Sarasota County, his expertise, his education and his credentials, he is well qualified to improve our city’s stature and lead us into a new era,” said Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas A. Masters in the release.

As for Evans’ replacement in Sarasota County: “We want our community to know that we are committed to providing excellent customer service, and we expect the transition to be as seamless as possible,” Harmer said in the release.

Evans was hired to replace Assistant County Administrator Lee Ann Lowery, who retired at the end of September 2016. Harmer indicated last year that he wanted to bring someone on board who would be able to settle in before Lowery left.