The Zephyrhills City Council found its choice to take over the office of city manager. And as expected, it’s a familiar face.
But at least for now, Steve Spina’s return to his leadership role in Zephyrhills is a temporary one.
The council is set to meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. to hammer out a six-month contract that would make Spina the interim city manager effective May 1. It would be his first time on the job since retiring in 2011. He replaces his own successor, Jim Drumm, who resigned April 25 after two council members indicated they would not renew his contract.
“I’m excited at the opportunity,” Spina told The Laker/Lutz News on Tuesday. While it’s not clear what salary Spina would receive, published reports suggested his salary during the interim would be at the same level of the $97,000 annual scale he left with three years ago.
In March, Drumm said he felt the council was trying to entice Spina to return to his old job, and that he would even step aside to make room for Spina if that’s what the council wanted. Spina, however, told reporters he was not pursuing the job, and instead had applied for a position with Pasco County’s administration.
“I have great respect for Dr. Spina,” Drumm said from a prepared statement at the time. “I have not had his long tenure to compete with his knowledge and his many contacts. If it is not the intent of the city council to hire Dr. Spina, then I remained perplexed by the issues that warrant me to not continue working together to improve Zephyrhills.”
The job opportunity with the county did not pan out, however, and Spina became available to step back into Zephyrhills while the county conducts a search for a permanent replacement. Spina did not say if he would apply for the permanent position.
Spina first became city manager in 1996, working his way up through the city’s administration. He started his career in the city as a journalist, working as a reporter and later the editor of the Zephyrhills News following the death of longtime editor Bernie Wickstrom in 1987.