PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — A lot of changes happened Thursday within the Panama City Beach administration.
Former Police Chief, Drew Whitman, has officially made his transition to City Manager. He also appointed two familiar people to become Interim Police Chief and Assistant City Manager.
“I’m going to have to learn a lot of things of course because it is on a different side of the house but I had the honor and privilege to work with Al Short for about eight to nine weeks,” Whitman said.
Whitman is excited to take on the challenge.
Whitman has worked with the city for 30 years and was appointed Police Chief in 2012.
He wants everyone to know his door is open.
“They know my heart is into this and I am not doing it for any other reason,” Whitman said. “They know that I want to build a good team.”
According to Whitman’s contract, he will be paid $150 thousand a year. The contract is good until either he or the council decides to terminate it.
His contract also states he will have an Assistant City Manager. He named Holly White who has worked for the city since 2001 as the Assistant to the City Manager for Finance.
White has a lot of experience with accounting as well as other roles within the city. She has previously served as the Interim City Manager for Panama City Beach in 2019.
“I mean when I wanted to bring on an assistant city manager she was the first one I thought of,” Whitman said. “She knows the city and she cares about the city.”
As for the police department, Whitman named Deputy Chief Chad Lindsey, as Interim Police Chief. Lindsey has worked with the department for 30 years.
“I do feel confident,” Lindsey said. “I’ve got great people behind me, I’ve got a great support staff. I’ll always refer to Drew as the chief so the chief and I have always had a succession plan.”
The search is now on for a permanent police chief. The application is out and Whitman said they will find the perfect fit.
Our previous story:
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — At today’s city council meeting Drew Whitman, the chief of police for the city, officially stepped into his new role as city manager.
Whitman named deputy chief Chad Lindsey as interim police chief. The city has also named Holly White as assistant city manager she was the assistant to the city manager for finance since 2001.
Whitman has been with Panama City Beach police for 30 years; nine of those as chief.