Anna Maria bids fond farewell to Debbie Haynes

Anna Maria bids fond farewell to Debbie Haynes
During her six years with the city, Debbie Haynes, center, provided invaluable assistance to City Clerk/Treasurer LeAnne Addy and Mayor Dan Murphy. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

ANNA MARIA – Deputy Clerk and Code Enforcement Manager Debbie Haynes was honored with a retirement luncheon on Friday, Dec. 3.

Haynes was joined at the luncheon by several members of city staff including City Clerk/Treasurer LeAnne Addy and Public Works Manager Dean Jones, as well as Mayor Dan Murphy, city commissioners Jon Crane, Robert Kingan, Deanie Sebring, Mark Short, former commissioner Doug Copeland and Haynes’ husband, Bob.

Those in attendance enjoyed tacos from the Wicked Cantina restaurant in Bradenton Beach and the mayor presented Haynes with a ceremonial key to the city.

“Debbie has played an integral role in almost every facet of the city of Anna Maria with code enforcement, the clerk’s office and all of our special events. I’m going to miss her tremendously. She’s done a superior job, she’s a natural in the positions she’s held and she’ll still be doing some consulting for the city going forward,” Murphy said.

Assistant Code Enforcement Manager Sandy Olson will now serve as the code enforcement manager. Haynes’ other wide-ranging duties will be allocated among other staff members.

When expressing her appreciation for Haynes, Addy said, “When I began my career with the city of Anna Maria, I couldn’t have been more fortunate to have had a co-worker like Debbie, who was hard-working and honest. She worked with me through all the changes that were made and helped do so much to make the office run more efficiently. As more job duties were placed on us, Debbie worked so hard to become successful. The city is losing an amazing employee who put her heart into her work. She will definitely be missed by myself and many others. I wish her an amazing, relaxing and rewarding retirement!”

When discussing her time with the city, Haynes said, “I started as a part-time administrative assistant and became a permanent employee in December 2015. I became code enforcement manager in July of 2018. I can’t believe it’s been that long. It’s literally flown by.”

During the past six years, Haynes played a key role in organizing city-hosted parades, holiday events, movies in the park and the seasonal farmers market that takes place at City Pier Park each Tuesday through mid-May.

“We started small with a couple little events in the park with hot dogs on Memorial Day and July Fourth. Then we did Veterans Day and the mayor said he wanted a parade. This year’s parade was our biggest yet and the farmers market is up to 13 vendors. During the first year, vendors didn’t want to come out here because they didn’t think they’d have any business. We’ve still got the original vendors and it’s taken off from there,” Haynes said.

Anna Maria bids fond farewell to Debbie Haynes
Debbie Haynes’ duties included organizing and managing the city’s seasonal farmers market. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

Regarding her retirement, Haynes said, “My husband is already retired and we want to start traveling. We have a camper and we’re looking to expand on our experiences. We’ve done a lot of Florida camping and now we want to start visiting the national parks. I think our first trip is going to be to Yosemite next year. We’ll have fun, enjoy life and spend more time with the kids, grandkids and the family in general. I’ll still be doing some consulting, working mostly from home, but this was my last official day in the office.”

As for what she’ll miss most, Haynes said, “The people.”

“I got my wife back again. I’m happy,” Bob Haynes said. “I retired about two years ago and we’re looking forward to traveling, seeing the grandkids and fishing.”

Outpouring of appreciation

Jones was named Public Works Manager around the same time Haynes began working for the city.

“I’m truly going to miss her. I’m so happy for her, but I’m also heartbroken because she’s such an integral part of our team. We really are a family here. I get to come to work and have a work family and then go home to my family. A lot of people don’t get that at their jobs. Debbie and I worked together putting the parades and the special events together and we always joked about starting our own events planning business. I wish her all the luck in the world. I know we’ll still see her, but I’m really going to miss her,” Jones said.

Commissioner Crane said, “She’s done everything anyone’s asked her to do and she’s done it really well. I’m very impressed with everything she’s touched.”

Commissioner Sebring said, “Debbie was an incredible resource and talent. She would spearhead any project Mayor Murphy threw her way. She’s incredibly knowledgeable and has a real can-do attitude. She will be royally missed!”

Commissioner Short said, “We’re certainly going to miss Debbie and everything she’s done for the city. I wish her good luck and success in whatever she decides is next in her life.”

When asked how Haynes helped him as a city commissioner, Short said, “She helped me early on by explaining the rules of engagement, navigating the different aspects of the city and who does what. She helped me get acclimated very quickly.”

When contacted while traveling, Commission Chair Carol Carter said, “Debbie has been my ‘go-to’ person in city hall. She was always ready to help find a solution to any issue. I am so grateful for Debbie’s assistance over the years and will certainly miss her ‘can-do’ attitude. I wish her good times with her husband and much happiness in her retirement.”

Recently hired Senior Administrative Assistant Amy Moriarty will assume some of the duties previously performed by Haynes.

“She’s a great mentor,” Moriarty said.