Zephyrhills passes budget, water rate hikes

The budget for the city of Zephyrhills is now set. On Sept. 25, the Zephyrhills City Council unanimously approved a $63.3 million for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, for Oct. 1. A second reading of the millage and budget ordinances drew no public comment, during the regular meeting. Budget by department: City Council: $3.53 million Administration: $9.62 million Utility Billing: … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills poised to name Spillman permanent fire chief

Four months after being named the interim fire chief, the Zephyrhills City Council is set on Monday to make Daniel Spillman's job at the head of the city's fire rescue department permanent. Spillman took over the department in June when Verne Riggall — under fire for how he had run the agency over a two-year period — resigned before city council members could vote on whether to terminate … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills ready to name Daniel Spillman interim fire chief

Verne Riggall never gave the Zephyrhills City Council a chance to fire him. The embattled fire chief resigned Friday, saying that "baseless attacks of a vocal and aggressive minority of members of the department" have made it impossible for him to do his job. "There is nothing in this life, or any profession — particularly in the fire service — that is constant," Riggall wrote in a … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills council takes aim at fire chief

Update: Published reports state that Verne Riggall resigned as the Zephyrhills fire chief on Friday, leaving the city council with the job of appointing an interim chief Monday night. Zephyrhills Fire Chief Verne Riggall followed his former city manager, Jim Drumm, from High Springs. But he might soon be following him out as well. Steve Spina, who replaced Drumm on an interim basis as … [Read more...]

Drumm takes final stand as Zephyrhills city manager

Jim Drumm likely saw the first cracks in his tenure as Zephyrhills city manager last July when councilmen Lance Smith and Ken Burgess both gave him low marks on their evaluations of his job performance. Drumm had communications issues, according to the evaluations, especially when it came to city employees and the public as a whole. He wasn’t getting out to meet enough people. The city’s … [Read more...]

New city manager contract has guaranteed money

The Zephyrhills City Council is expected to officially hire Steve Spina as its interim city manager Wednesday night, bringing back the long-time city leader after a three-year absence. But while Jim Drumm had to fight for a severance package before resigning as city manager last week, Spina's $48,000 will be guaranteed — even if the city finds and hires a full-time city manager before the … [Read more...]

Steve Spina set to return as (interim) city manager

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 … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills council, Drumm disagree on severance package

They struggled over the difference between employees who are paid by the hour, and those who work on salary. They at times seemed confused about why they were negotiating a settlement in the first place. And they even started to replace someone before he even had a chance to offer his resignation. But one thing that seemed quite clear from Wednesday night's special meeting of the Zephyrhills … [Read more...]

Drumm outlines conditions to resign as city manager

One of Charlie Proctor's first duties as president of the Zephyrhills City Council is a somber one, by his own admission. Wednesday, Proctor and the rest of the council will consider a resignation proposal from City Manager Jim Drumm, leaving a vacancy in the city's top manager's job for the second time in three years. In an April 17 letter to Mayor Gene Whitfield and the rest of the … [Read more...]

All on-the-job training for Zephyrhills’ newest councilman

Zephyrhills doesn’t waste time when it comes to elections. Last Monday, less than a week after the election, Alan Knight was installed as the new city councilman following his victory over one-time council president Jodi Wilkeson. And there isn’t even time for Knight to catch his breath. Moments after the swearing in, Knight was asked to consider two board appointments, donating vehicles … [Read more...]