The next city manager will come equipped with the background to help Temple Terrace with its water resource needs well into the future.
Gerald “Jerry” Seeber, who serves as general manager of Tampa Bay Water, the regional water supply authority based in Clearwater, has been selected to replace Kim Leinbach as city manager. Leinbach, 64, is retiring on March 29 after managing the city’s day-to-day operation for 14 years.
“It’s a great community,” Seeber, 59, said of Temple Terrace. “It has a solid tax base. We are very excited for the opportunity to be there.”
Seeber plans to begin his new job on April 22. A city department head will serve as interim city manager until Seeber arrives.
The Temple Terrace City Council quickly turned its attention to Seeber last week after negotiations with two other finalists, Jeffrey Mihelich and Dana Hlavac, both from Arizona, fell apart. They both withdrew their names from consideration.
Members of the city’s negotiating team, which included Mayor Frank Chillura, City Attorney Mike Connolly and Human Resources Director Aleicia Latimer, told the council Mihelich withdrew his name for personal reasons and Hlavac decided he needed more time to consider a move.
Seeber, the only local finalist, accepted the terms and conditions of the city council contract, Chillura told the five-member council at a meeting on March 14. Seeber will earn a base salary of $135,000, which is similar to Leinbach’s current salary, the mayor said.
Seeber had explored several opportunities to return to city management, including some out of state, he said.
“When I was looking to get back in city management, me and my wife were hoping we wouldn’t have to leave Florida,” Seeber said.
Seeber and his wife, Denise, are planning to move from Safety Harbor to Temple Terrace later his year.
Before Seeber was general manager of Tampa Bay Water, he served as city manager of Oviedo in Seminole County from 2004 to 2008 and New Port Richey in Pasco County from 1988 to 2004. He also was the village manager of Brown Deer, Wis., from 1982 to 1988.
Seeber decided the Temple Terrace city manager position was a perfect chance to combine his city management background with the information he has learned about regional water supplies.
“I have been in this business a long time,” Seeber said. “The opportunity to move to the regional water supply authority was great. But I missed the taste of working at City Hall.
“Municipal government has the ability to affect the lives of people in many ways. I like helping to improve the quality of people’s lives in a positive way.”