CLEARWATER — City Manager Bill Horne said he will reassign top administrators in charge of key city departments and the downtown waterfront redevelopment plan to adjust to the void being left by departing Deputy City Manager Jill Silverboard.
Assistant City Manager Micah Maxwell, who on Feb. 1 was assigned to focus exclusively on Imagine Clearwater and the Community Redevelopment Agency, will keep his title but replace Silverboard and assume oversight over her 12 departments, Horne said. He will receive a 10 percent salary increase to $168,498.
Horne will promote Planning and Development Director Michael Delk to interim assistant city manager, putting him in charge of the Imagine Clearwater project, the city's redevelopment plan for the downtown waterfront which is still in design and months behind schedule following the City Council's change to the concert pavilion portion. Delk will also oversee the Community Redevelopment Agency. He will receive a 15 percent salary increase to $142,933.
Assistant Planning and Development Director Gina Clayton will replace Delk as interim director of the department. Clayton will receive a 10 percent pay increase to $114,079.
Horne said the changes will help "avoid any loss of momentum in the short term" and provide "time to adjust to the long term as we contemplate the outcome of the March 2020 election." He said the new roles will be phased in before Silverboard's last day May 21, when she will leave the city after 12 years to accept a job as deputy Pinellas County administrator/chief of staff.
The election, 11 months away, has put city leadership in a wait-and-see position. In March, three of the five City Council seats will be up for grabs, laying the possibility for a majority of new elected officials: Mayor George Cretekos will be term limited, Council member Bob Cundiff is up for a second term in Seat 3, and Seat 2 will be vacated by Jay Polglaze, who was appointed in December to fill a vacancy and pledged not to run for the seat.
Horne said he plans to retire sometime in 2020 after a 20-year tenure. But he has not decided if he will retire before the March election so that the sitting council will appoint his successor or if he will help the new council after March acclimate before they search for his replacement. More administrative changes are possible with a new city manager, who appoints a deputy.
Imagine Clearwater will be one of the most critical initiatives for officials to implement. The council is expected to vote next month on a work order for consultants to complete the final design after a six-month delay caused by the council's change to the design of the concert pavilion.
With the council's decision to support an outdoor amphitheater with covering over 4,000 seats, the project to redesign the 66 acre downtown waterfront is roughly $50 million to $60 million, according to Maxwell.
Contact Tracey McManus at email@example.com or (727) 445-4151. Follow @TroMcManus.