Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Temple Terrace to replace retiring Kim Leinbach

Temple Terrace City Manager Kim Leinbach, 64, started in 1999 and will retire at the end of January. There are nine candidates for his job.


Temple Terrace City Manager Kim Leinbach, 64, started in 1999 and will retire at the end of January. There are nine candidates for his job.

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 or (813) 226-3435.

Temple Terrace to replace retiring Kim Leinbach 12/13/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 13, 2012 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: Florida's jobless rate looks great — but 25 other state rates look even better

    Economic Development

    No debate here: Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop — even as more people move to Florida and enter the workforce. What's not to like?

    Who remembers the remarkable lines of hundreds of people looking for construction work in Tampa back in March of 2010 at a job fair at the Encore construction site near downtown Tampa? Now the construction industry is struggling to find skilled workers to meet building demand. [
  2. Tampa police investigating fatal shooting at Busch Boulevard motel


    TAMPA — Police are investigating a shooting at a motel near Busch Gardens that left one woman dead.

  3. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 21: Tears of love and parting mark the beginning of the final leg of a pilgrim's journey.


    Day 21: León to Hospital de Orbigo: 32.6 km, 8.75 hours. Total for Days 1-21 = 498 km (309 miles)

  4. Pinellas detectives investigating shooting that led to car crash

    Public Safety

    LARGO — Pinellas Sheriff's detectives are investigating a shooting that investigators said led to a man crashing his car after he was shot in the abdomen early Tuesday.

  5. Trump tweets, McCain return set stage for health bill vote (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump urged Republicans to "step up to the plate" for Tuesday's crucial Senate vote on their bill eviscerating much of the Obama health care law. The stage was set for high drama, with Sen. John McCain returning to the Capitol to cast his first vote since being diagnosed with brain …

    President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and others, speaks about healthcare, Monday, July 24, 2017, in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. [Associated Press]