Belleair Beach Begins Search for New City Manager | Belleair

BELLEAIR BEACH — City Manager Lynn Rives has announced her retirement, and the city has begun looking for a new chief executive.

The city council approved an advertisement for the position of city manager at its regular meeting on April 4.

Among the qualifications sought by the city are at least five years’ experience as a city manager or in a comparable job.

Florida government experience is highly preferred, “especially previous experience with coastal community issues, beach nourishment, emergency operations and evacuation,” the solicitation says. Experience as a Community Assessment System Coordinator and Certified Floodplain Manager is also sought.

Knowledge of laws and regulations relating to administrative policy, government budgeting and finance, overall planning and public works responsibilities is required for the City Manager.

The council agreed to accept a version of the ad drafted by Vice Mayor Glenn Gunn that calls for a manager with “strong leadership skills and a ‘hands-on’ and participatory work ethic”.

Salary scale and benefits “depend on qualifications, experience and professional references”.

Rives’ retirement notice was expected, as he said he planned to leave after the March election. This election saw the decisive defeat of Mayor Joseph Manzo, who had a difficult relationship with Rives. Manzo had criticized Rives on several occasions, while the other board members spoke highly of Rives and gave him their full support.

At a special meeting on March 24, council voted unanimously to accept Rives’ 60-day retirement notice and authorize the posting of city manager. While his official retirement date would be the end of May, Rives said he was ready to work out a plan for him to come after that date to help with the transition if needed.

Although the council decided to seek nominations for the position, one council member supported the choice of Kyle Riefler, who is currently assistant city manager/director of community services.

“I would like to see a change of scale, promoting from within, rather than bringing in someone from an outside source,” Council member Frank Bankard said at the March 24 meeting. “Kyle (Riefler) did the job and I think (we) trust him completely.”

Gunn said while he agreed with the promotion from within, “you have to see what happens.” He added that advertising for the position of city manager is the responsible thing to do.

Others also said Riefler would be one of the top contenders among the candidates.

When Rives became city manager in 2017, it was a promotion from within, as he was director of community services/public works when city manager Nancy Gonzalez retired. Rives served as interim city manager for nine months while the city conducted a search to fill the position before appointing him to the position.

Rives’ previous experience included serving as Director of Recreation Services at the Town of Oldsmar and serving on the Belleair Beach City Council for four years, followed by four years as Mayor from 2007 to 2011. When later joining the city staff in 2017, he said “It was originally supposed to be a part-time job.”

In comments to the Bee, Rives made it clear that he wants to follow a new path for himself while leaving at a time when the city is heading in a positive direction.

“I’m happy for the residents, and I think there will be a lot of positivity with the recent election changes,” Rives said. “I think whoever becomes the city manager will come into a very positive atmosphere.”

Rives, who lived in Belleair Beach for 22 years before recently moving to Largo, said, “I have enjoyed living here all these years, and will always be in the area, but it is time to retire and do something else.

Musical event at your fingertips

On Saturday, April 30, the city presents “Fly Me to the Moon,” an event that features “Frank Sinatra/Rat Pack-like music and sliced ​​pizzas,” according to Park and Rec, Tammie Lavenda. It will be at Bayside Park next to City Hall, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The event aims to bring residents together in a relaxed setting. “That should be nice,” Lavenda said, “and hopefully we’ll get a good turnout for that.”

Lavenda also reminded people of the successful beach cleanups that take place monthly, normally the first Saturday of the month. Participants meet on the beach at 19th Street at 8 a.m. and go back and forth to pick up trash. Refreshments are served afterwards.

Rives announced that the popular citywide garage sale will return this year, scheduled for Saturday, May 7. He said the city was getting new signs that would urge people to park on only one side of the street, to avoid past issues where streets were difficult to navigate due to disorganized parking.