Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. Rick Perry duped by Russian duo impersonating Ukraine leader

    National

    WASHINGTON — Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been fooled by a pair of Russian pranksters impersonating the prime minister of Ukraine.

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry, right, talks with former "Saturday Night Live" comedian and radio host Joe Piscopo, left, at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. [Associated Press]
  2. Controversial landfill site could be rechristened as industrial recruiting land in Pasco

    Economic Development

    The east Pasco property of Angelo's Aggregate Materials, which failed to obtain a state environmental permit to be developed as a garbage landfill, is being studied as a potential 1,000-acre mega site for industrial recruitment.

  3. Joe Henderson: At son's wedding, memories of child-rearing build to a perfect moment

    Columns

    On a secluded beach known as Hawksnest on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a bride-to-be named Heather McNeill hurried along a wooded path to meet the man she was about to marry.

    Heather McNeill married fellow Strawberry Crest High teacher Ben Henderson on a secluded beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands. "They wanted something totally theirs," says Ben's dad Joe Henderson. "I think they had their parents in mind, as well." [Courtesy of Henderson family]
  4. Forecast: Near record-high temperatures, minimal rain in store for Tampa Bay

    Weather

    Tampa Bay residents can expect a significantly hot Wednesday — possibly record-breaking — and a small chance of pop up showers.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]