ZEPHYRHILLS — Interim city manager Steve Spina told council members Monday he would like to make his return to city government permanent and that he will apply for the job he retired from a little more than three years ago.
Several council members expressed support for dropping "interim" from Spina's job title, but all agreed to wait until the next council meeting to decide on how to proceed with filling the position.
Spina, 60, transitioned to teaching at the University of South Florida — where he earned a doctorate in political science — after retiring as the city's manager in May 2011 after nearly 25 years on the city payroll, the last 15 at the helm.
The council hired Jim Drumm to replace Spina, but he resigned in May when it became clear that a majority of the council members were not going to vote to renew his contract, based on complaints about Drumm's management style.
Spina was applying for a position with Pasco County government earlier this year when Drumm's contract renewal came up for discussion; when he did not get the county job, council member Lance Smith suggested the city bring him back temporarily until a permanent successor could be hired.
Smith said Monday he favors offering the position to Spina permanently. Council member Alan Knight agreed Spina is doing a good job, but said he believes the council should still advertise the job and consider other applicants.
Spina said he enjoys being back in city hall and the job "seems to be a good fit" for him.