Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills City Council to keep Spina on as city manager

ZEPHYRHILLS — Reversing course, City Council members agreed to skip a formal search for a top administrator and offer the job to interim City Manager Steve Spina.

Mayor Gene Whitfield urged the council to save the city the cost of conducting a search and avoid the possibility of raising the hopes of potential applicants and then hiring Spina — which most council members have previously acknowledged would be the likely outcome of a formal search.

During a City Council meeting Monday, Whitfield pointed out that in the past four decades, the city has had seven city managers — five brought on by direct hires and who were known by the council and two hired after a search process. The direct hires served a combined 36 years, while the others stayed on the job a total of four years, he said. Spina has lived in Zephyrhills for more than 30 years and was a city employee for 24 before retiring in 2011 after 15 years as city manager.

Spina, 61, offered in May to fill in temporarily following the ouster of Jim Drumm. Spina soon said he would apply for the job permanently.

"He has a real grasp of our community," said Whitfield. "Since returning in May, he has demonstrated a calm, quiet leadership. Employee morale has improved and there has been a tremendous and immediate improvement in communication between the council and City Hall."

Council members Charlie Proctor, Lance Smith and Ken Burgess all agreed with Whitfield and voted to hire Spina.

"The ball is rolling pretty well right now," said Burgess. "I don't want to stop it."

Council member Kent Compton cast the lone dissenting vote, saying that while he is pleased with Spina's job performance he believes the city should go through the process of letting people apply for the job.

City Attorney Joseph Poblick told the council there was no legal obligation to conduct an official search for city manager.

Poblick and Proctor will negotiate a formal offer with Spina.

In other business, the council agreed to have a special meeting Aug. 19 to consider firing the contractor and architecture firm working on the Sixth Avenue fire station rehabilitation project. The city is facing more than $250,000 in cost overruns and work will not be completed on time, officials said.

Zephyrhills City Council to keep Spina on as city manager 08/13/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 8:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  2. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  3. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  4. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  5. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.