The woman set to be Georgetown’s next city administrator said she’s ready to be a part of the community.
Sandra Yudice, currently an assistant administrator for Richland County, was selected from among dozens of candidates, four of which made the final cut for interviews with City Council in late May.
Yudice has been with Richland County since 2017. Before that, she worked with the administrator of Greenville County for 20 years. She and her husband, Enrique, were looking to settle along the coast, Yudice said. They’ve visited Georgetown during past trips to the beach.
“It’s quiet, very Southern. I love the environment,” Yudice said about the local area. “My husband and I are looking forward to becoming a part of the Georgetown community.”
City Council is expected to vote on Yudice’s employment agreement during Thursday’s regular meeting. Mayor Brendon Barber and interim administrator Carey Smith have been working on the details.
In making their choice, council members highlighted Yudice’s qualifications and experience with local government in South Carolina.
Mayor Barber said Yudice would be a “detailed” leader. Councilwoman Carol Jayroe said she likes the fact that Yudice has worked for larger government entities.
Yudice said members of Georgetown City Council told her they want an administrator who will work with council as well as residents of the city.
“I’m an open and humble person,” she said. “Easy to get along with.”
She said she avoids creating controversy, but added that she knows how to handle adverse situations.
A native of El Salvador, Yudice and her husband, along with their infant son, immigrated to America in the 1980s. At the time, a civil war was raging in El Salvador and the couple was looking for a better life.
The family lived in New York where Yudice studied economics at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. They later moved to Maryland so she could pursue a master’s degree in public policy at the University of Maryland.
“When I finished my master’s, I decided I wanted to work in local government,” Yudice said. “That is where you can make the most difference.”
Government is meant to assist the people and improve the quality of life, Yudice said
She was looking for work in the Southeast before landing a job with Greenville County. While there, she was a member of the county’s budget team and helped lead the effort to build a new main library for the county.
In Richland County, which includes Columbia, Yudice has also been involved with public finance. For a time, she was the county’s acting budget director. Richland County’s budget is around $180 million while the city of Georgetown is looking at a $33 million budget for 2019-2020.
In the spring of 2018, Richland County’s administrator resigned — after the 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.
On June 3, Georgetown City Council unanimously voted to select Yudice has the city’s next administrator. The search for a new administrator lasted more than a year following the resignation of Paul Gardner in early 2018.