Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

Temple Terrace to replace retiring Kim Leinbach


TEMPLE TERRACE — Outgoing City Manager Kim Leinbach offers this advice on staying employed with five bosses looking over your shoulder:

"First of all, you treat everybody equally and impartially. You provide the same information to everyone. Ultimately, your duty is to implement the direction … of the majority, whoever constitutes the majority.''

Don't form alliances. Stay out of politics.

It's a philosophy that has kept Leinbach employed in the turbulent world of city administration for more than 40 years, 14 of them in this city of 25,000. The 64-year-old manager has announced that he will retire at the end of January.

"I'm going to, I think, rest a little bit,'' said Leinbach, who has made a habit of arriving to work at 6:30 every morning. "But I want to keep working a little bit, part time.'' He said he may do some consulting work.

The City Council will soon start interviewing people vying to replace him. Among the nine candidates for the job, advertised at $110,000 per year — depending on qualifications — are the town manager of Southwest Ranches in Broward County; the city manager of Mascotte in Lake County; a town manager from Pennsylvania; and another from New Jersey.

"All in all, I think he's done a good job,'' said council member David Pogorilich, noting that Leinbach has always been straight and honest with him.

But Pogorilich said he wants the next city manager to be more proactive in marketing the city and in keeping developer Vlass Temple Terrace on track in the $160 million Downtown Temple Terrace project, a planned office, retail and residential community on the east side of 56th Street, from Bullard Parkway to the Hillsborough River. The new manager should have experience running a similar size city, he said.

Ronald A. Govin, who reached his term limit and stepped down from the City Council last month, said Leinbach has been a "well-rounded'' city manager who was well-prepared in presenting issues before the council.

"He managed from the position of wanting the council to make the decision. In the past, we've had city managers who were very strong, with them wanting to make the decision,'' Govin said, adding it's probably best to have a blend of the two.

Council member Alison Fernandez, who also said Leinbach has served the city well, said she wants someone "who will bring a fresh set of eyes'' to the city. Noting that the city has been too complacent in promoting itself, she said the new city manager should have "experience with rejuvenation, not just development.''

Leinbach, an Iowa native who was city manager of Madeira Beach, Atlantic Beach and Green Cove Springs before starting the Temple Terrace job in 1999, counts among his team's accomplishments the establishment of a goal-oriented program for city improvement, based on surveys of what residents think is important in the next 20 years.

"I'm a believer that government works for the people and doesn't tell the people what they want,'' he said.

Completing the downtown development, making the community more accommodating to walkers and bicyclists, maintaining the city services, traditions and small town atmosphere were some of the goals listed.

Each year, the council holds a goal-setting session, he said. "We take the goals, give them to the department directors and ask them to put (them) in the budget to implement.''

The biggest challenge the next manager will face, he said, is to keep the level of services up despite the drop in tax revenue due to the weak economy. The city has done it, Leinbach said, through a job freeze, reducing staff by attrition and consolidating duties.

"I guess there's a silver lining to anything,'' he said. "It's made us extremely efficient.''

In addition to resting and possibly consulting, Leinbach looks forward to doing more missionary work with his church, First Baptist of Temple Terrace, in retirement. He also plans to help children in Ethiopia as a missionary for the Jacksonville church his son attends.

He's no stranger to foreign places. As the son of U.S. State Department workers, Leinbach grew up all over the world. He was a kid in Iran when the Shah was in power and was a high school student in Vietnam in 1965, just as that war heated up.

"You learn to make friends fast and become very flexible,'' he said. "I went to four high schools in four years. That made me resilient.''

Philip Morgan can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3435.

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

Woman killed in Largo motorcycle crash could ‘out-game any dude’

LARGO — Sydney Pender, 27, loved riding her motorcycle, even though she knew the dangers. Three years ago, her friend said, a delivery truck hit her. But she kept riding. On Thanksgiving, it was a crash with a taxi cab that killed her.Pender, a St. P...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Valrico intersection closed after car-sized hole opens in road

VALRICO — A hole the size of a vehicle opened up beneath the intersection of Nature’s Way Boulevard and Elm Grove Lane, Hillsborough officials said.The cause of the depression is unclear, but the intersection was blocked off to traffic.Hillsborough C...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA — A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Published: 11/23/17