OXFORD — Bob Schwartz was a student at the University of South Carolina debating whether to attend law school when a professor made the comment that small cities in the state could use more professional managers.
That statement settled Schwartz’s career choice. He has been working in public administration for 40 years and, he said, enjoying it the whole time. It’s a very rewarding job, he said.
“You get the opportunity to help people,” he said. “Every now and then you get the opportunity to see a project that changes the face of the city.”
Schwartz is Oxford’s new city manager. He came aboard in October, replacing the retired Clark Miller, who served as the city’s very first city manager beginning in 2011.
“It’s been fun being in Oxford so far. It’s great to work with the city council and staff that take their respective jobs seriously,” he said.
Schwartz oversees the day to day operations of the city and its 12 employees, as well as the budget process.
“It’s a chance to impact in one way or another,” he said. “What goes on is never the same day to day.”
Asked what his goals are as a new official, Schwartz indicated he takes his directives from the City Council.
“This City Council works well together,” he said. “They ask good questions. They investigate thoroughly.”
Mayor Jerry Roseberry previously reported that Schwartz was selected from a pool of 30 candidates who submitted resumes and letters of interest.
“It did not take long to single out Schwartz as the ideal candidate,” Roseberry said in September. “He was the only applicant that met all of the requirements on the list and following his appearance before the City Council in executive session, the vote to hire him was unanimous.”
A resident of Jasper County, Schwartz was born in Virginia and grew up in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina.
Schwartz started his career in 1973 as budget officer and assistant county manager for administration in Lexington County, S.C. Most recently, he served as city manager of Monticello from 2009-12, executive director of the Municipal Technical Advisory Service for the University of Tennessee and chief administrative officer for Americus.