Coryea Made Permanent Manatee County Administrator

Staff Report
BRADENTON – On Tuesday, Manatee County Commissioners unanimously approved Cheri Coryea as Manatee County Administrator, removing "acting" from her current title. The vote makes Coryea—who ascended from a deputy county administrator in March, following the retirement of Ed Hunzeker— the county's first ever female administrator.

"Everything she’s touched has turned out great," said County Commissioner Carol Whitmore in discussion prior to the vote. "She’s got the support of 1,700 County employees. If you really think she’s the best person, you should vote for her." 

Before voting on the item, commissioners had to update their ordinance regarding job requirements for the position. Previously, there had been a minimum education requirement of a bachelor's degree. Coryea, who has been with the county for nearly three decades, left college to tend to her sick father with one semester remaining, then entered the workforce without completing her degree. The county will now allow experience with Manatee County Government to be an alternative to a bachelor's degree. 

Commissioners Stephen Jonsson and Misty Servia voted against changing the job qualifications but still voted to approve Coryea as the permanent County Administrator. 

"I think Cheri is the best person for this job and my confidence level in her is 100 percent," Commissioner Servia said. 

Coryea has 30 years of experience, including 28 in management with Manatee County. She served as Deputy County Administrator since 2017 and was Director of the Neighborhood Services Department for 10 years. Earlier in her career with the county, Coryea developed the Children's Services Fund from its inception in 1991 and helped it grow to its current annual budget of $15 million. She also oversaw the two Community Redevelopment Area budgets of $2.5 million annually and oversaw the creation of the Southwest Tax Increment Financing District in 2014.

Additionally, Coryea has led the development of several key County initiatives including:  the creation of the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDI), Health Care for the medically needy, Children’s Services Tax, Manatee Millennial Movement (M3),  Community Development Block Grant, the formation of the Southwest Tax Increment Financing District, Rubonia Community Center renovations and the Norma Lloyd Park Development. She also authored "Voices,” Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.