New TI city manager

Garry Brumback

TREASURE ISLAND — In a surprise announcement he called bittersweet, City Manager Garry Brumback told city commissioners April 6 he would like to retire by June 1.

Brumback, who started in the position in December 2017, told commissioners it’s been an honor to serve the community and work with a great staff and commissioners. “I want to first thank all of the three mayors, and all of the commissioners, who gave me the honor and privilege of being a part of this amazing organization and this great community. It has been an honor to serve, and I also want to extend my gratitude to the staff that has truly been a spectacular organization with which to work.”

During the April 6 commission meeting,Brumback, who turns 65 this year, said after talking things over with his wife he decided it is time to retire. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and certainly appreciate the support I’ve received from the commissions, the staff and quite candidly the entire community.”

Prior to coming to Treasure Island, Brumback was town manager in Southington, Connecticut for seven years, settling in New England after serving as city manager of Baytown, Texas, for three years.

Becoming Treasure Island’s city manager was actually a return to Pinellas County for Brumback, who began his public service career starting as an assistant city manager in Clearwater from 1999 to 2007.

Brumback earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Virginia Military Institute 1978 and then served 20 years in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He also earned a master’s degree in international relations from Boston University.

Mayor Tyler Payne told Brumback, “Thank you very much for your service. Our tenure has run a similar timing, so it’s been a joy to work with you, (you have) always been a gentleman and very effective leader. I know all the staff really looks up to you. You’ll be missed.” He added he is glad Brumback plans to remain in the city and be a valued part of the community.

Brumback told commissioners he recommends Assistant City Manager and Finance Director Amy Davis, who he has worked with the last four years, as the commission’s choice for the next city manager. “I believe she would be as an exceptional candidate for this job,” he said.

In 2017, Davis served as interim city manager, when former City Manager Reid Silverboard left the position after a dozen years.

According to her LinkedIn page, Davis has worked for the city of Treasure Island a little over 6 years; she started as finance director and chief financial officer in 2015 and most recently, since December 2017, served as assistant city manager and finance director.

When it became evident early in the Covid pandemic that the virus was going to drastically effect the local economy along with state and local revenue streams over several months, Davis tweaked the city budget and reduced spending to greatly lessen the impact on any loss of revenue. At the same time, she was also instrumental in working out the financing that enabled the city to acquire the former Allied Insurance building on Gulf Boulevard for its City Hall complex.

She came to Treasure Island after serving in the city of Largo almost 9 years, starting in 2006 as assistant city manager in that mid-Pinellas city, then moving on to manage Largo’s Office of Management and Budget for more than 6 years.

Davis’ education includes a bachelor’s degree in economics from Ashland University in Ohio and a master’s in public administration from the University of Central Florida.

Payne noted the last time the city hired a city manager it conducted “a full-on search across the nation, so I don’t know we need to go to that length.” He added “Amy’s been absolutely great. I don’t know if it is worth opening it up.”

Commissioner Deborah Toth said, “I think the best thing we can do is to honor city manager’s suggestion and move forward with appointing Amy at that time.” Toth noted Davis “has been with the city, she’s been very loyal to the city” and she’s been in training for the city manager’s position for several years.

“The city will have we have oversight in place and choosing Davis will create smooth transition forward,” she added.

Commissioner Saleene Partridge said that while she agrees with her colleagues that Davis seems like a great choice, she would still like to talk to her constituents to give them an opportunity to weigh in.

“I love Amy, she’s been fantastic. I agree with what everybody said here. We do have a community that likes to be very involved, so I’m reticent in not giving time for public opinion when something new surfaces. We’ve done that with things in the past and it hasn’t been well received.”

The newest city commissioner, John Doctor, noted Davis “has helped me out quite a bit over the last month or so, getting to know what this position is all about, getting to know the budget. I think she is clearly qualified."

City commissioners will discuss the city manager hiring process during their April 20 workshop at City Hall.