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Treasure Island chooses new city manager

Garry Brumbach, Treasure Island's choice as new city manager [City of Treasure Island]
Garry Brumbach, Treasure Island's choice as new city manager [City of Treasure Island]
Published Nov. 7, 2017

TREASURE ISLAND — Barring possible contract issues, Garry Brumbach will take over as city manager some time in December.

Brumbach was picked by the City Commission on Nov. 3 to fill a post vacated by former manager Reid Silverboard, who retired in May.

The only commissioner to vote against Brumbach was Ralph Kennedy, who said he did not want a manager who was at the end of his career.

Brumbach, 61, was one of eight candidates recommended by consultant Colin Baenziger who reviewed a list of 59 applicants.

Last month, the commission narrowed the finalist list to four candidates, two of whom subsequently withdrew.

Last week the commission interviewed both Brumbach and Michael Hein, 50, who most recently was assistant town manager for Longboat Key.

Brumbach's selection will not be official until a contract is negotiated and ratified by the commission, an action expected to occur at the Nov. 21 meeting.

He currently makes about $170,000 as town manager in Southington, Conn. and will most likely have to take a pay cut if he accepts the Treasure Island post.

The city advertised the salary range for its next city manager as between $120,000 and $150,000.

Southington, in central Connecticut, has a population of 43,000. While managing the town's 250 employees and $50-million budget over the past six years, his town's voters approved two $11-million infrastructure improvement programs.

Brumbach previously was city manager in Baytown, Texas for six years and assistant city manager and strategic planning director in Clearwater for eight years.

Brumbach said he is excited to be returning to Pinellas County where his father and sister live.

He retired as a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel in 1998, last serving as a battalion commander. He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (bachelor's degree in economics) and Boston University (master's in international relations).

Brumbach described himself as "not an office guy" who prefers to be "out and about" in the community.

"Treasure Island is a nice small community," Brumbach said Tuesday. "The city has an extraordinary staff and a respectful, responsible commission. This opportunity is one of the best I have seen since my career started."

Brumbach has already given notice at his current post, and said he would be available to start his new job by late December.

Last week, Brumbach stressed that he and his wife intend to become active members of the community.

"If I am going to have any credibility to ask for revenue increases, I should have to share the same burden," he told the commission when asked if he would be willing to live in the city.

Among the items he said would be high on his to-do list here are reaching an agreement with St. Petersburg over maintenance of the Treasure Island Causeway, financing ongoing maintenance of the main Causeway Bridge, replacement of city buildings, and general road and seawall infrastructure.

"We have unique challenges in Treasure Island. ... Environmental change is happening and we are among the most vulnerable," Brumbach said. "It will take several years to get ready and it is not something that we can delay."