Brunswick City Manager Jim Drumm has been selected as the city manager in Madeira Beach, Fla.
Drumm was selected for the job by a 3-2 vote by city commissioners to replace Johathan Evans, who is returning to his previous job as city manager of Riviera Beach, Fla.
But in an email Thursday after a published news account in The Tampa Bay Times that he had accepted the job, Drumm said “it is too soon to say I am off to Florida.”
In the news account, Drumm told Madeira Beach officials he might have to give the city of Brunswick at least six weeks notice unless he can negotiate an earlier departure.
Drumm said he has not been given an offer, and he has not signed a contract to accept the job.
“I was notified I was not the top choice, but now it appears I am, as No. 1 withdrew,” Drumm said. “I am now exploring this opportunity, but I have not committed to anything at this point. I would not declare this is a ‘done deal’ just yet.”
Drumm said he cares about the city and the “great staff” he has worked with the past four years.
“We continue to build up our infrastructure and make needed improvements,” he said. “I just think I owe it to my family to consider this opportunity.”
This is not the first time Drumm’s name has come up for a managerial post in another city. He was one of six finalists for the Palm Coast city manager’s job earlier this year until he withdrew his name from consideration.
He grew up in Central Florida, earning degrees at the University of Florida, followed by a masters degree in public administration from the University of South Florida. He worked in a variety of administrative positions before resigning as Zephyrhills, Fla., city manager to accept the job in Brunswick.
Mayor Cornell Harvey said he was not surprised Drumm had applied for the Florida job because of his ties to Central Florida.
“It would be a step up for him,” Harvey said. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t see it coming.”
Harvey praised Drumm’s job performance saying “he manages things very well.”
“Jim is a professional manager,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, Commissioner Johnny Cason said he was sad to learn Drumm had been offered a new job and praised his job performance during his tenure in Brunswick.
“He did an excellent job with numbers and the budget,” he said. “I think folks have overlooked what Jim Drumm brought here.”
Cason expressed regret about potentially losing what he considers a very capable city manager.
“Here’s another one going,” he said. “It does not surprise me Jim Drumm was looking for a job. What’s it going to take for the city of Brunswick to keep a city manager?”
Cason said Drumm showed his commitment to the city by buying a house downtown on Union Street and quickly moving his family here after he was hired in 2015.
Shortly after he was hired, Cason said Drumm was instrumental in finding funding to complete the Mansfield Street project to renovate the street’s water, sewer and stormwater drains when it appeared the city would not be able to complete the project.
Drumm also helped the city establish a tax allocation district and enterprise zones to encourage development downtown.
“His creativity helped bring back to the downtown area,” Cason said. “He’s got the wherewithal to manage a city this size.”
Perhaps his greatest contribution was helping the city get as much funding as possible after hurricanes Matthew and Irma struck the region.
“He’s gotten very few accolades for his work with the disasters,” he said.