The City operates under a Commission-Manager form of government, in which the City Manager is appointed by the City Commission and serves as the head of the City's administration. The City Manager is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the City through the various departments, contracts and employees; ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the City; ensuring that council policies are implemented; recommending policy alternatives to the Commission; and responsible for submitting the proposed annual budget to the Commission.
The City Manager's goals are to provide a capable and inspiring leadership for City staff, to make day-to-day decisions that allow for the most effective use of resources, and to operate in a manner that improves the quality of life for Oakland Park's business and residents.
John Stunson, City Manager -- winner of ICMA Award for Career Excellence
John Stunson has served as City Manager of Oakland Park since 2001 and under his direction the City has made numerous improvements and is poised for exciting redevelopment. In Oakland Park’s form of government, the City Manager’s function is similar to that of a Chief Executive Officer working under the direction of the City Commission (Board of Directors) on behalf of the residents (shareholders).
With John at the helm, the City of Oakland Park has carried out a carefully crafted plan to grow and prosper. Through successful annexation the City grew by over 25 percent to 42,000.His experience in municipal government has helped Oakland Park create a designated Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) that provides tremendous investment and development opportunities in the prime corridor between Interstate 95 and Federal Highway. And, under John’s leadership, the City’s new Downtown Mixed Use Zoning ordinance was adopted in 2004 and complements the Mixed Use Land Development Ordinance to promote Transit Oriented Development and an ordinance creating a revitalized Federal Highway Business District. Much needed capital infrastructure has been added including stormwater systems. Perhaps as important has been John’s ability to engage the elected officials and citizens in ongoing communications in developing a Vision and Strategic Plan for the City that lead to the numerous public improvements and a sustained period of financial stability with more than a three-fold increase in net assets from 2003 through 2009.
John’s extensive experience in public service includes a previous tenure as City Manager of Oakland Park from 1974 through 1983, nine years as City Manager of North Lauderdale and nine years as Assistant City Manager of the City of Fort Lauderdale. While with the City of Fort Lauderdale he coordinated the development of the City’s Riverwalk plan, which established the urban design framework for Riverwalk Promenade, Broward Performing Arts Center and the Museum of Discovery and Science. He also supervised the development of Fort Lauderdale’s Beach Revitalization Plan and coordinated the creation of a beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) which received over $41 million to fund improvements in traffic, parking, circulation, lighting and the signature wave wall. John also served as Chief of staff for the Congressman representing Florida’s 15th Congressional District.
John is from Illinois but has resided in South Florida since the late 1950’s. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University. John has earned the majority of credits towards completinghis Doctorate in Public Administration from Nova University. He has been actively involved with numerous professional and community organizations, including the International City Manager’s Association, Broward City and County Management Association, Shepherd’s Way Ministries, Florida’s House of Representatives Economic Development Task Force, Harris Chapel Life Enrichment Center and many others.He has received a Public Policy Leadership Award from the Broward City and County Management Association and the 2006 Annual Award for Career Excellence from the International City Management Association. More recently John was included as a “contemporary leader” in Rebecca Stanton-Reinstein’s book entitled “Conventional Wisdom: How Today’s Leaders Plan, Perform, and Progress like the Founding Fathers”. John and his lovely wife Shelley are 30 year residents of Oakland Park, where they enjoy tennis, golf and fishing. Shelley is a retired educator formerly with Northeast High School in Oakland Park and they are parents of two grown children.
Assistant City Manager
The Assistant City Manager assists the City Manager in the general operation of the city, including areas of: recommending policy decisions; staffing; establishing service levels; financial & budget strategies; developing and implementing the strategic & business plans; and interaction with elected officials and members of the community. In addition to general oversight of all departments, the Assistant City Manager directs the strategic and policy recommendations involved in the preparation and execution of the Annual Budget, Capital Improvement Plan and Business Plan Initiatives.
Horace McHugh, Assistant City Manager
Mr. McHugh joined the Oakland Park organization in November 2008. For the previous five years, he served as the first Assistant City Manager for the City of Miami Gardens (a recently-incorporated municipality and the third largest City in Miami-Dade County, Florida). During his tenure Mr. McHugh established and had line responsibility for the following specific areas: Information & Technology; Human Resources & Risk Management; Procurement & Asset Management; Fleet, Facilities & General Services; and Event & Media Coordination, among other projects and areas.
He previously worked for the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida for 12 years, where he was an Assistant to the City Manager. His tenure included working in the City Manager's Office for 7 years, and long-term assignments in the Fire-Rescue, Police, Public Utilities and Public Works Departments. Prior to that he worked with Manufacturers Hanover Trust - a major NY-based financial institution - for 11 years, where he managed operations in International Wire Transfers.
Mr. McHugh holds MBA & BBA degrees in Finance from Pace University, NY and is a Credentialed Manager through the ICMA Credentialing Program.
International City/County Management Association; Florida City/County Management Association; Broward City/County Management Association; Florida Government Finance Officers Association; National Institute of Government Purchasing; Florida Local Government Information Systems Association
Leadership Broward Foundation; St. Georges' College Alumni Association; Leadership Fort Lauderdale; Kiwanis Club of Oakland