Ocoee City Commission names Craig Shadrix favorite for City Manager successor

At the Feb. 6 meeting, longtime Assistant City Manager Craig Shadrix was named by the City Commission as its choice to succeed retiring City Manager Robert Frank.

Ocoee City Commissioner Rosemary Wilsen (left) and Mayor Rusty Johnson (right) vocalized their support for longtime Assistant City Manager Craig Shadrix (middle) as the next City Manager at the Feb. 6, 2024 meeting.
Ocoee City Commissioner Rosemary Wilsen (left) and Mayor Rusty Johnson (right) vocalized their support for longtime Assistant City Manager Craig Shadrix (middle) as the next City Manager at the Feb. 6, 2024 meeting.
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For two decades, Robert Frank has served as Ocoee’s city manager. Frank announced his retirement in January, giving the Ocoee City Commission the difficult task of replacing a longtime leader.

However, the commission may have found its perfect candidate in-house.

At their Tuesday, Feb. 6, meeting, city commissioners named longtime Assistant City Manager Craig Shadrix as their preference to succeed Frank. 

“(At the) last meeting … we asked the city manager to draft a contract for our approval,” Commissioner Rosemary Wilsen said. “But I don’t think we really said (or) if anyone mentioned what the contract was for, and I’m going to go ahead and ask. Personally, I would like us to appoint Craig Shadrix as our city manager when Rob retires.”

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Shadrix has served in his current role since 2010 and has worked for the city since 2008.

Shadrix has not yet publicly accepted the position, nor did the city publicly announce him as the next city manager, but in the meeting, the question was asked and answered if the commission could go ahead and designate him as the successor to Frank.

“It’s not illegal to go ahead and name him as the succeeding person before that date?” Mayor Rusty Johnson asked City Attorney Richard Geller.

“You can designate him as the successor to Mr. Frank,” Geller replied.

Frank added: “When we present (the contract) to you, we feel we’re presenting something that has already received his (passing) approval. We’re not going to let him see it the first time when it makes the agenda.”

More from Feb. 6 Ocoee City Commission meeting
  • Mayor Rusty Johnson read a proclamation on Black History Month at the Ocoee City Commission meeting. “(The month) serves as a celebration of African-American achievements and the crucial role they had in U.S history, as well as time to recognize the severe adversity generations of black Americans had to overcome to achieve legitimate citizenship in our society,” he said.

    During the proclamation, Johnson also spoke on the city’s efforts to honor the monthlong celebration, such as its 19th annual Black History Month essay contest open to fifth-grade students who attend Ocoee’s elementary schools, and the programming residents can watch on Ocoee TV that highlight significant people and events from African American history. Residents also will be able to visit a Black History Month installment at City Hall that has biographical portraits of notable African Americans.

  • Human Relations and Diversity Board member Kellie Beck presented the HRDB’s new initiative for the year: “Diversity Drives Ocoee: A Journey to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” which “aims to provide a structured and continuous educational program that aligns with the objectives of the HRDB as outlined in its bylaws.”

    Through a collaboration with the Orange County Library System’s partnership with LinkedIn Learning, Ocoee residents will be able to take monthly courses on topics aligned with various diversity months, to educate, engage and empower the community to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion principles. This initiative will be free to residents.

  • The commission also approved spending the necessary amount to create and distribute an HRDB brochure and survey. The brochure will be sent to residents through water bills.

  • Commissioner Scott Kennedy made two requests for future agenda items during his allotted comment time. First, he wants to hold a discussion with the new city attorney about his recommendations for commission rules and procedures. The commissioners agreed by consensus to add this agenda item in a future meeting.

    Second, Kennedy requested another agenda item to discuss any of the city attorney’s recommendations about possible charter amendments or city ordinances he may have. This also was approved by consensus.

  • Commissioner Rosemary Wilsen requested a small road closure for the Spring Into Conservation event at Unity Park, which the commission approved by consensus.

    During this request, an interesting precedent note was made by Frank — requests for small road closures are, in the staff’s interpretation, unnecessary to bring to the commission. “We think … we only need (the commission’s approval) when there’s going to be some type of shutdown of a vast number of streets and something greater than just some type of neighborhood celebration,” he said. 



Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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