WINCHESTER — The Frederick County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday night to hire Michael Bollhoefer as the new county administrator, effective Nov. 16.
Bollhoefer has served as the city manager in Winter Garden, Florida, for the past 16 years. In Frederick County, he will succeed Kris Tierney, who retired on July 1 as county administrator. Mary Beth Price has been serving as the interim county administrator since Tierney’s departure.
A county media release said Bollhoefer successfully led a team that took a city considered one of the worst-performing in Florida to one that is recognized “a prime example of municipal rejuvenation and economic development.” Bollhoefer, who is a certified public accountant, also has held various jobs in finance, including finance director in Winter Garden. He earned a degree in accounting from the University of Florida and a master's degree in public administration from Troy State University. He also holds numerous certifications.
After the board approved his hiring, Bollhoefer thanked the supervisors for giving him the opportunity, saying he and his wife are excited to move to Frederick County. While he said it would be a “big change,” as he’s lived in Winter Garden for 25 years, he said he was “unbelievably impressed” by the county staff, whom he found to be professional, sharp and friendly, along with having a sense of humor.
In his discussions with board members, Bollhoefer said they valued key issues of character: “honesty, fairness, transparency and integrity.”
“I want you to know I believe in all four of those things, and I live those things,” Bollhoefer said. “And that’ll be my goal. I will bring to this job 100% of my heart and soul every day. That’s the way I work. I’ve always worked that way. I understand my role here — it’s to serve the citizens. It’s also to assist you all in ensuring that your vision comes to fruition and then to carry out the policies that you all determine.
While in Winter Garden, Bollhoefer directed the largest capital improvement plan in the city’s history, led the process to design and fund road projects, and worked closely with local business entities and citizen groups to spearhead successful economic development projects and business retention, according to the release.
John Rees, Winter Garden's mayor, said he worked with Bollhoefer in his capacities as city manager and finance director.
“He’s always had the best interests of the citizens of Winter Garden as his top priority,” Rees said. “We are going to miss his leadership, his knowledge, his dedication and his friendship. Of course, we wish nothing for the best for him going up there. But I guarantee you that I’m speaking for all of the citizens here in Winter Garden when we express our great appreciation to Mike for his many contributions to our thriving city.”
Rees said Bollhoefer revitalized downtown Winter Garden and managed to facilitate growth while keeping the city “family friendly.”
“We are going to miss Mike, he did a great job here,” Rees said. “And he’ll do a great job for you all, there’s no doubt in my mind. He works hard. He’s about the community.”
The Berkley Group, a Bridgewater-based consulting firm, was contracted by the board to help select the new county administrator. Board of Supervisors Chairman Charles DeHaven Jr. said during Wednesday night’s meeting that the firm did an “outstanding job.”
“Assisted by The Berkley Group, we had a strong pool of over 20 candidates, and Mr. Bollhoefer impressed the Board with his entrepreneurial perspective, his leadership experience in a growing community, and his extensive knowledge of financial operations,” DeHaven said in the release. “We look forward to working with Mike and having him lead County staff. We know our staff and everyone in the community will provide a warm welcome to him and his family.”
DeHaven also extended thanks to Price for providing "stellar leadership and guidance through this transition. She has done a great job, and we are most grateful.”
Bollhoefer's starting salary will be $192,000.