PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Mark McQueen’s last day with the city was supposed to be September 30th. That end date quickly changed to July 31st once Governor Ron DeSantis appointed him to the Bay District Schools Superintendent position.
He officially resigned from the city Monday morning.
“It’s a heavy heart right now because I love the city, I love what we’ve done together as a community to rebuild the city of Panama City, to be the premier city in the Panhandle, and through this journey and the privilege of being city manager for the last five years, I have been blessed,” outgoing Panama City City Manager Mark McQueen said.
In 2019 McQueen started Monday Morning with the Manager. One longtime resident said he made it a weekly priority to attend.
“Any questions you wanted to ask Mr. McQueen would try to answer so I felt the like the others that came to this room and there a lot of, a lot of regulars that came to the same meeting and felt like it was a very open and honest dialog,” Panama City resident Tem Fontaine said.
Panama City Mayor Michael Rohan said the city’s loss is a gain for the school system.
“In the period of time that I worked with Mark I never saw anything that he couldn’t handle and that’s why I would love to be able to keep him right here in the city, keep it moving forward, keep him helping us get the city back together but at the same time, our school system is in critical need of a very good man,” Rohan said.
Now that McQueen has stepped down, city commissioners discussed who will be the Community Redevelopment Agency Interim Director and City Manager. Commissioners listened and accepted McQueen’s recommendation.
“We divided the duties of the city manager into the two assistant city managers and so Brandy Waldron will be the interim city manager, and then her assistant will be Jared Jones and Jared will also assume all of the responsibility of the $420 million worth of projects that were going on,” McQueen said.
Waldron will be the interim City Manager and the CRA Director.
“This is additional responsibility and they’ve all come forward they’re not going to get paid anything extra and they’re going to work a little harder so it shows that we’ve got great people here in the city,” Rohan said.
On Tuesday McQueen will officially start his new job as Superintendent.
Panama City officials will continue the search for a new City Manager. They said they have received a handful of applications already.