Mayor Robert Craft and the Gulf Shores City Council proudly announce the appointment of Jonathan G. Walker as the new city administrator for the City of Gulf Shores. Walker most recently served as city manager for Chamblee, Ga., and has 26 years of experience in budget management, community development and city administration.
"Gulf Shores is a remarkable city, and I am grateful for Mayor Craft and the City Council giving me the opportunity to join their team,” said Walker. “I am humbled to be able to serve such an incredible community and am eager to contribute to its continued growth and success."
As Chamblee’s city manager, he worked collaboratively with the Mayor and Council to achieve remarkable milestones, such as strengthening the reserve balance, earning an AA+ bond rating, enhancing civic trust and transparency, and spearheading the creation and implementation of the City's inaugural operational strategic plan, sustainability plan, mobility plan, and capital improvement plan. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in overseeing the construction of a new city hall, a public safety building, and an expansive 14-acre park.
“We are extremely excited to have Jonathan join our team. He brings not only tremendous experience but also a proven track record of getting things done,” said Craft. “We had many highly qualified candidates, but it was clear Jonathan is the perfect fit to step in and lead our team into a really exciting time as we begin charting our future with Vision 2035.”
Walker’s appointment comes following the retirement announcement of current City Administrator Steve Griffin, who has served in that role since 2013. During his tenure, Griffin was instrumental in implementing the Vision 2025 Plan for Sustainability, including starting Gulf Shores City Schools, developing the Waterway Village District, enhancing medical care through the addition of a new free-standing emergency department and the revitalization of the city’s beach district.
“The City Council and I will be forever grateful for what Steve has done for Gulf Shores over the last 10 years,” said Craft. “We would not be where we are today without him. Steve’s fingerprints are all over this city, and his efforts will continue impacting our community for generations.”
Before Chamblee, Walker served as the vice president of client programs and services and director of eastern operations for SAFEbuilt Inc., where he was responsible for successfully establishing and managing the capital startup and operations of nine offices across six states, providing essential municipal services to various cities and counties on a contract basis. Additional roles served throughout his career included interim city manager of Avondale Estates, Ga., city manager of Jonesboro, Ga., and a position as a policy analyst with the Georgia Governor's Office of Policy and Budget.
Walker holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Georgia.
The decision to appoint Walker as city administrator was made through the collective effort of the entire City Council. More than 50 highly qualified candidates applied for the position, with Walker emerging as the standout candidate from a pool of six finalists after five months of meticulous research, analysis and consideration. The Mayor and Council received invaluable assistance from Bob Slavin of Slavin Associates, who played a pivotal role in the national recruitment for this significant position. Notably, Slavin also contributed to selecting the City's current City Administrator, Steve Griffin.
Walker will officially assume his role as Gulf Shores City Administrator on December 4, 2023.