New face in town: Rickman McIntosh town manager

Jeannie Rickman, center, is sworn in as McIntosh City Manager, by McIntosh Mayor Marshall Roddy, left, as Eva Jo Callahan, the president of the McIntosh Council, right, holds the Bible for her at McIntosh Town Hall in McIntosh, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. Rickman worked for Marion County for the past 17 years. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

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Posted September 2, 2021 | By Matthew Cretul

Jeannie Rickman, center, is sworn in as McIntosh City Manager, by McIntosh Mayor Marshall Roddy, left, as Eva Jo Callahan, the president of the McIntosh Council, right, holds the Bible on Sept. 1. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

About a dozen people were on hand at the McIntosh Town Hall on Sept. 1 to watch as Jeannie Rickman started her new role as town manager.

Rickman, the former assistant Marion County administrator, started her job just one day after formally leaving the county post.

Rickman takes over for Beth Nelson, who resigned as town manager in January.

Rickman spent 17 years with the county, the last six as assistant county administrator, where she oversaw nine departments.

She feels her experience can only help McIntosh.

“My relationship with the county has always been positive,” she said. “I think the relationship we can bridge, even though McIntosh is further north, near the county line, I think we can bridge that.”

McIntosh Town Councilman Mark Naworensky is thrilled to have Rickman on board.

“We’re really excited about the opportunities that her expertise will provide,” he said.

Rickman was eager to begin her new role. She was already getting familiar with the office even before her swearing-in.

“I am excited. Coming from the county, this is a nice change. I feel like I’m able to bring a lot of knowledge, information, and experience as a public servant,” she said.

Naworensky said Rickman will bring great value to the town.

“She has a passion for public service. Her resume was just stellar. As a municipality, we’re really lucky to have acquired her as our next manager, and we’re looking forward to moving forward. She has some good ideas; we all have some good ideas,” he said.

McIntosh bookkeeper Jessi Gonzalez is also looking forward to working with Rickman.

“We clicked instantly. I think it’s going to be a very good working relationship,” she said.

Before formally joining the town in her position, Rickman attended various council and committee meetings. This gave her an understanding of agenda items and business before the council.

“I’ve already got a shortlist of some things as far as goals that I want to accomplish… I think there’s things I want to speak to the council members, to get their thoughts on it, and hopefully, we can move forward on it,” she said.

Some of the business likely included the $15,300 in CARES Act funding the Marion County Board of County Commissioners approved for McIntosh during their Aug. 17 meeting.

In addition to funding for new tile flooring in their town hall and clinic building, McIntosh also secured funding for seven iPads to allow for videoconferencing and cloud storage, as well as for additional safety supplies.

Jeannie Rickman, right, looks over balloons given to her in her new office with Eva Jo Callahan, the president of the McIntosh Council, left, before she was sworn in as McIntosh City Manager at McIntosh Town Hall in McIntosh on Sept. 1. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

“There were some safety measures. We’re getting some hand sanitizer, some masks, updating some of the A/C systems in the community center. With this virus uptick again, there are just some things that can be done to help us out in that direction,” said Naworensky.

Achieving her goals is something that Rickman is used to doing, and it’s something that she doesn’t waste any time getting going.

“I’m a doer and a morning person. I like to get things started. I like to see things in a positive way and then get them accomplished to move onto the next task,” she said.

Despite her formal retirement date with the county of Aug. 31 and an official start date with the town of Sept. 1, Rickman said she was able to take a few days off but was ready to hit the ground running.

“I’m thrilled,” she said.

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