Georgetown City Council has chosen a current assistant administrator for Richland County to be the next person to lead the city.
In early June, council unanimously selected Sandra Yudice from a group of four finalists. Mayor Brendon Barber and interim City Administrator Carey Smith are preparing an employment agreement to present to Yudice and council members. A final vote on the agreement is planned for council’s regular meeting on June 20.
Yudice has a long career in local government. Before coming to Richland County in 2017, she assisted the county administrator for Greenville for 20 years. She previously served as the acting budget director for Richland County and has a doctorate in public policy and administration from Walden University.
Richland County, which includes the state capital of Columbia, has a population of over 400,000.
Barber said Yudice’s years of experience, especially in South Carolina, put her over the top. The three other finalists were from out of state, he said.
“When you look at her body of work and experience, she just jumps off the page,” Barber said. “I’m very, very excited to work with Dr. Yudice.”
Barber said he expects Yudice will be a detailed leader who’ll hold department heads to high standards. She looks at “performance goals” and “measurable objectives,” Barber said.
The Georgetown Times was unable to contact Yudice before press time.
Councilwoman Carol Jayroe described Yudice as “very well qualified” and highlighted her experience handling government finances.
“I think she will not have a problem getting this job under her feet,” Jayroe said. “Her background is certainly what we were looking for.”
Mayor Pro tempore Rudolph Bradley said Yudice’s experience with South Carolina state and local laws will be a vital asset.
“That’s very important,” he said. “We’ve got someone who has the knowledge.”
The selection of Yudice ends a process that began in February 2018 when former administrator Paul Gardner resigned. Smith has since been handling day-to-day operations for the city.
The mayor said he hopes Yudice can join the city before the end of the summer. Smith will likely stay on to assist the new administrator during the transition.
Barber commended Smith for his work with the city.
“Carey’s been a great asset,” Barber said.
Yudice took over managing the Richland County’s finances in 2017 following the abrupt departure of the chief financial officer. In the spring of 2018, the county’s administrator resigned — after Richland County Council had voted to terminate him and then backtracked on that vote. Yudice had been handling the administrator duties until an interim administrator was named in October.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Yudice studied economics at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. She has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland.
In 2016, she was a candidate for administrator of Jackson County, Florida, located in the state’s Panhandle.