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Coffey is appointed as interim manager

(ran Beach, East editions)

City commissioners are giving John Coffey a try at running the city.

Coffey, assistant to former City Manager Tom Brobeil since January, will have six months to prove he can do the job. By then, the commission either will make the position permanent or look elsewhere for a city manager.

Coffey hopes he can persuade the four commissioners and the mayor that he's right for the job.

"I really love working for local government," Coffey, 36, said Tuesday, his second day in command of 35 city employees. "Local government is the area (of government) that impacts people's lives the most."

Brobeil, who has managed Indian Rocks Beach since 1998, resigned last month to accept the top position in Gulfport. His last day was Friday and he'll begin his new assignment on Monday.

Coffey grew up in Orlando. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of Florida and a master's degree in public administration from Florida State University.

Coffey had an internship in the Largo budget office in 1997. He then moved to College Station, Texas, managing the city's finances and then to Newnan, Ga., where he held a similar position to the job he has had in Indian Rocks Beach.

As interim city manager, Coffey's annual salary is $60,706.

Commissioner Jim Palamara said he has confidence in Coffey. "I'm pretty satisfied with what he's done so far. It's always nice to promote someone from in-house."

Coffey and his wife, Hope, have no children, but they do provide a home for one dog and three cats.