Anna Maria hires new building official

Building official
David Greenbaum will serve as the City of Anna Maria’s next building official and floodplain manager. - David Greenbaum | Submitted

ANNA MARIA – Less than a week after terminating Building Official Jimmy Strickland, Mayor Dan Murphy and the City Commission had his replacement on deck.

Effective Jan. 1, David Greenbaum will become the city of Anna Maria’s next building official. He’s now winding down his tenure as the building official for the Town of Longboat Key, a position he’s held since June.

Murphy presented the proposed hiring to City Commissioners during an emergency commission meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The commission unanimously authorized the hiring.

Greenbaum will also serve as the city’s floodplain manager. Last week he took the certification exam as part of his efforts to become a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-certified floodplain manager. Strickland was not FEMA-certified.

The commission terminated Strickland on Nov. 30 for failing to comply with FEMA reporting requirements regarding the city’s participation in the Community Rating System (CRS) that is part of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.

Strickland’s failures resulted in the city receiving notification on Oct. 30 that CRS reviewer Craig Carpenter was recommending that FEMA reduce the city’s CRS rating from a class 5 to a class 10. If enacted as recommended, the rating retrograde would result in the loss of the 25 percent flood insurance rate discount currently given to policy holders in Anna Maria. The city has been part of the CRS program for more than 20 years.

In response to Carpenter’s email, city staff was given 20 days to provide the documents requested to verify the city’s CRS compliance.

Last week, Murphy told commissioners no final determination had been made yet regarding the jeopardized flood insurance discounts. He said he hoped to have those answers in a week or two.

Greenbaum’s career path

Murphy told the commission Greenbaum’s willingness to leave his Longboat Key position was due to the transition taking place due to Town Manager Dave Bullock’s retirement at year’s end. Bullock hired Greenbaum, but Bullock’s replacement is bringing in his own people to fill key positions.

“He comes highly recommended by the town manager of Longboat Key, who couldn’t say enough good things about him,” Murphy said of Greenbaum.

Murphy said Greenbaum’s extensive background check came back completely clean.

Commissioner Nancy Yetter also interviewed Greenbaum before last week’s meeting.

“I was very impressed. He had a career in the military and I think that’s going to bode well for this position. He has a strong leadership quality about him, and authoritative, so I don’t think he’s going to be a pushover,” she said.

Greenbaum served in the Marine Corps from 1983-1990.

“I stressed to him the problems that we had in past, and that we could not allow anything like that to occur again,” Yetter added.

Commissioner Carol Carter asked Murphy if he had any concerns about Greenbaum only being with the Town of Longboat Key for six months. He also had two short stints of employment in New York from 2015 until his hiring in Longboat Key. Commissioners Brian Seymour and Doug Copeland said they also had preliminary concerns about that.

Murphy said Greenbaum’s New York jobs were necessitated by family matters and he cited Greenbaum’s service as chief building official for the Seminole Tribe of Florida from 2007 to 2015.

Greenbaum will be a city employee and report directly to Murphy, whereas Strickland was a contracted employee of the M.T. Causley firm. Murphy plans to reorganize the building department and the firm will continue to assist the building department while awaiting Greenbaum’s arrival.

When contacted Friday, Greenbaum said he would know the results of his certification test results in January. He said much of the certification training pertained to the recordkeeping and documentation required of CRS participants.

“It’s something that demands attention all the time,” he said.

Regarding his new job in Anna Maria, Greenbaum said, “I look forward to it and I appreciate the opportunity to serve the public health, safety and welfare for the city.”