North Port city manager introduced to chamber

Former North Port Commissioner Fred Tower III, left, greets City Manager Jerome Fletcher Thursday at chamber luncheon at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club.

NORTH PORT — A business group welcomed the new city manager Thursday at a North Port Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Jerome Fletcher, a former administrator with Montgomery County, Maryland, was introduced at the chamber’s Network@Noon at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club.

Fletcher replaced interim City Manager Jason Yarborough, who had held the city’s top job since former City Manager Pete Lear left in November. Fletcher started Oct. 1. Yarborough remains an assistant city manager.

North Port’s economic health and government transparency, Fletcher said, would be priorities in his administration. That means recruiting job-makers, working with local cities and Sarasota County, other moves that coincide with North Port’s rapid growth, to transition the tax load away from homeowners, he said.

The city’s population at its current pace could reach 115,000 by 2030, he said. There are around 80,000 now. Some 90% of workers exit North Port, something Fletcher and the city commission would like to see end.

Fletcher runs Sarasota County’s biggest town, in population and size. The city’s yearly budget is nearly $200 million and it has around 700 workers.

“I need to produce some key wins,” he told key business and nonprofit leaders.

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