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Rokovitz takes the helm of Hiram government
by Savannah Weeks
September 27, 2012 10:35 AM | 3243 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Robbie Rokovitz stands outside city hall in downtown Hiram. (File photo)
Robbie Rokovitz stands outside city hall in downtown Hiram. (File photo)
Hiram’s first city manager, Robbie Rokovitz, started his career in government as a police officer in Alpharetta. Years later, he found himself in public administration.

Rokovitz began serving the public for the city of Alpharetta in 1994.

“I had an interest in politics back in the ’90s,” Rokovitz said. “I was a police officer but a lot of my interaction was with planning and zoning, community development. I didn’t have the traditional police officer personality.”

Rokovitz got an opportunity to work under Alpharetta’s city administrator, Bob Regus, as his assistant. Rokovitz said the city administrator became and still is his mentor. Regus still works for the city of Alpharetta.

“Somehow, it got me into city management,” Rokovitz said.

Rokovitz, 45, worked as assistant city manager in Alpharetta for eight years before taking the city manager position in Holly Springs in Cherokee County, where Rokovitz lived at the time.

“The biggest challenge working in Alpharetta was working with human resources,” Rokovitz said. “It gave me the opportunity to learn more about personnel and management. The two biggest things you need to know when it comes to public administration are personnel and finance.”

Rokovitz enrolled in the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government where he took finance and other public administration classes in 2001 and 2002.

Rokovitz went on work as city manager for the city of Cedartown before taking the Hiram position.

Mayor Doris Devey said Rokovitz’s “people skills” played a part in the council’s decision to hire him.

The new city manager said he had two immediate goals for Hiram: working on the city’s fiscal year 2013 budget and updating its personnel policy.

“First and foremost, working with the mayor and council to create a budget for fiscal year 2013,” Rokovitz said. “Next month, there has to be a budget ordinance in place.

“Second, internally, because there have been some changes, everybody wants to know their place. They need an updated personnel policy. That gives the foundation to follow.”

Rokovitz said the council wants to grow Hiram as a center for business.

“The council has a lot of vision,” Rokovitz said. “They want to protect a corporate corridor, but encourage commercial business.”

He said the council also wants to work toward getting sewer service in downtown Hiram — something that can deter businesses from locating downtown.

Rokovitz said the most challenging part of city management in general is handling the different dynamics among elected officials and staff members.

“You have to keep those sets of dynamics working in the same direction,” Rokovitz said.

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