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Posted on: January 10, 2024

Jonathan Hayes appointed new City Manager of Panama City


The City Commission for the City of Panama City is pleased to appoint Jonathan Hayes to serve the Panama City community as its new City Manager.

Following an extensive search, the City Commission selected Hayes in December 2023 and approved his employment contract during the January 9, 2024, regular City Commission meeting.

“It a tremendous honor to partner with the City Commission, City Staff and, most certainly, the community as we lead Panama City into its next chapter,” said Hayes.  “I will take my intimate and deep knowledge of Panama City’s history, geography, people, communities, and politics and hit the ground running.”

Hayes initially came to the City of Panama City as Director of Logistics, a position responsible for managing the divisions of Purchasing, Facilities Maintenance, Information Technology, and Risk Management. In April of 2022, Hayes transitioned to the position of Director of Public Works. In this role, his responsibilities expanded to include leading a team of over 200 personnel. He oversaw the public service functions related to Engineering, Utilities, Streets and Drainage, Solid Waste, Equipment Maintenance and Environmental Compliance.

Additionally, as the Director of Public Works, Hayes was responsible for overseeing the implementation of State Revolving Fund loan and grant-funded infrastructure improvement projects.

“I believe there is an importance of getting back to the fundamentals at the local level. Ensuring safe roads and reliable utilities is crucial for the well-being of our community,” said Hayes.  “One of my foremost objectives is to establish sustainable solutions for infrastructure enhancements and upkeep in the long run.”

His executive experience in public service amasses over a decade. Prior to his service in Panama City, Hayes served as Acting Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response and the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Chief of Staff for two Members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Hayes will continue hosting Monday Morning with the Manager, a public forum for citizens to come together and discuss their vision, concerns, and ideas for Panama City with the City Manager. The meetings will be held on the first Monday of the month from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Citizens can attend in-person at City Hall, which can be found at 501 Harrison Avenue, or virtually via Zoom.

“I’m ready to step into the role as City Manager of Panama City without missing a beat,” said Hayes.  “I look forward to working collaboratively with the residents, businesses, and stakeholders. We will continue, and build on, the great work that is already underway to rebuild Panama City following Hurricane Michael, while striving to create government that is transparent, responsive, and focused on service.”

Hayes is a fourth-generation resident of Bay County and currently resides in Panama City with his wife, Tammy, and their five children. His grandfather, James E. Hayes, served as Panama City Commissioner of Ward IV in the 1950's.

Hayes’ annual salary is $175,000; he assumed his position on January 9, 2024.

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