Top candidate for Fort Myers Beach town manager shares his vision

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Andrew Hyatt, Fort Myers Beach’s top choice for the position of town manager, spoke to WINK News about his vision for the town’s future.

Hyatt was selected out of an original pool of 80 candidates.

“We got back last night, you know, kind of to process everything and respond to people and start getting my ducks in a row,” Hyatt said.

When he put his name forth for consideration in Fort Myers Beach’s search for a town manager, Hyatt didn’t even think he would make it past the first round.

“The Fort Myers Beach job came open, I think, ‘OK, well, I’ll apply,'” Hyatt said. “‘Probably not gonna get called, but I’ll apply.'”

And what does a town manager even do?

“They’re in charge of the day-to-day operations of Fort Myers Beach,” said Councilman John King.

A big job, but one Hyatt says he’s prepared for.

“My experience helped prepare me better for these types of situations,” Hyatt said.

Hyatt lives in Ponte Vedra Beach. He was the city manager of Surfside when it experienced a deadly condominium collapse in June 2021. Hyatt says living through that disaster made him hyper-sensitive to the disaster that happened over on this coast when Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4.

“Your heart goes out to everyone affected, and then… you start playing that game of ‘let’s get relief; how are we going to get this get this back in order?'”

Hyatt was thinking about these issues before he even applied for the job. He also thought his Surfside experience could really help Fort Myers Beach.

“I was able to take what I had experienced, stuff that nobody else, no other manager has ever experienced; I’m in a category of one” Hyatt said. “I felt like I could help. But also, I am smart enough… or, I guess, dumb enough to know I’m not the answer—I’m an answer. But I know it takes the village. It takes all of us.”

Hyatt explained his vision for Fort Myers Beach from six months to a year ahead, and how he wants it to feel and look.

“I think everybody would really love to get back to the way it was, right? I think that’s the goal… get the permitting process, so things start happening quicker,” Hyatt said. “Hurricanes is going to come, and they’re gonna go. We have to prepare to be able to be as resilient going forward as we can for coastal life. And my goal is geared towards the psyche and the emotions of the town to get back to the way it used to be.”

Hyatt’s Surfside-based crisis management experience was one of the biggest reasons he got votes from the Fort Myers Beach Town Council.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.