PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach is now on the search for a new City Manager after Mario Gisbert announced he is retiring.
He announced the decision Thursday night during a City Council meeting.
Gisbert is coming up on 10 years as a city employee and tells News 13, it was time for a change. “It will give me an opportunity to enjoy life for a little bit.”
“Understand that I’m doing this because it’s the right thing for me to do. It’s a good opportunity for me to walk the Blue Ridge Parkway. I will tell you that I absolutely, positively love this city. I think that we have the absolute most efficient, cleanest, meanest administration I’ve ever seen in my life and I’m very proud to work with them,” said Gisbert during the meeting.
He says he’s seen the city grow tremendously over the last decade. One of his most notable and favorite projects he says he’s worked on is the revamping of the city’s campus. “The 1980s building, 1950s building, buildings that were put up by incredible police officers and firefighter, not contractors. We tore those down and put together a master plan.”
That plan built a new public works building, fire station, police station and once it’s completely done, the city will have a new city hall.
Gisbert will remain as manager until a new one can be hired. Then he will remain as a city employee, with his same salary, until March 18, 2020.
Gisbert has a masters degree in architecture and says if he is able to step down as manager before the effective date, he wants to help in getting new projects started.
Before anything else though, Gisbert says he’s focused on finding the right person to take his place and prepare them for the job. “Part of the reason I announced it this evening is to give the council an opportunity over the next eight months for us to go out and find someone who’s going to do the job and going to do the job right. and give me the opportunity to pass on the baton where nobody drops the baton.”