Hollywood City Manager Wazir Ishmael announced his intention to retire at the end of March. He has been City Manager since 2015 and has been instrumental in guiding some of the tremendous change over the past decade.
Dr. Wazir joined the City of Hollywood as Assistant City Manager for Sustainable Development in August 2014. Dr. Ishmael oversees a city government comprised of more than 1,589 full-time and part-time employees with a combined budget of nearly $755 million.
He has over thirty years of experience as a local government administrator, planner, educator, and international business executive with the City of Miramar; Broward County Planning Council; Clark County, Washington; Wigan County Council, Lancashire, United Kingdom; and PlanLogical Corporation. During his 16-year tenure with Miramar, he progressively held the positions of Planning Manager, Community Development Director, Assistant City Manager for Development Services, Deputy City Manager, and Interim City Manager.
The city grew substantially during Ismael’s leadership. Hollywood’s taxable value grew from $11 Billion in 2014 to its current amount in excess of $21 Billion. Over the same period, the General Fund reserves grew from $23 million to $41 million. Hollywood’s credit rating stabilized during his tenure. The city currently has an A rating with both Moody’s and Fitch.
In his resignation letter, Ishmael highlighted some of his accomplishments.
“We have been able to work collaboratively with our collective bargaining units resolving and reducing litigation and achieving several long-term labor contracts. This has allowed us to dramatically increase pension funding levels, significantly reduce other post-employment benefit liabilities, restore and enhance public safety positions, and raise the city’s salaries and benefits to competitive levels.” He wrote, “Together, we have achieved so much. I will forever be grateful for your support and the work of our superlative staff and their dedication, professionalism, skills, and passion.”
The city is actively searching for Ismael’s replacement, with both external and internal candidates being considered. City Manager, along with City Attorney and Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director, is one of three positions appointed by and reporting directly to the City Commission.