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  1. Pinellas

Madeira Beach city manager returns to his old job

MADEIRA BEACH — After serving this city for little more than a year, City Manager Jonathan Evans has accepted a position to return as city manager of Riviera Beach, which fired him several years ago.

After a previous council in Riviera Beach had fired him without cause, Evans sued that city and won a $190,000 settlement that stipulated he could never be rehired in the city.

The newly elected Riviera Beach council rescinded that prohibition last month and began negotiating for Evans to return as city manager of a community with a population of about 33,000, nearly seven times the size of Madeira Beach.

Wednesday evening the council there made an official offer and Evans accepted it Thursday morning. He will start his reinstated job on July 12. His last day in Madeira Beach will be July 9.

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"It was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as a professional," Evans said Thursday. "Both communities have been just phenomenal to me."

Among the factors influencing his decision to return to Riviera Beach were a guaranteed one-year salary of $200,000 that would be paid even if he were fired again for no cause and a 20-week severance package.

Evans is currently making $150,000 in Madeira Beach.

Evans said he plans to focus on a number of major unfinished projects before leaving Madeira Beach. Those projects include a complete reworking of the city's pay schedule that could mean a 17 percent pay hike for some employees and a $15 million roadway upgrading project.

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