When Gulf Breeze’s Deputy City Manager Samantha Abell came aboard with the city last August, she came at a time when current City Manager Edwin “Buz” Eddy was looking to hang up his hat.
Eddy made the announcement regarding his retirement, effective May 1, back in January to city council and at Wednesday’s Executive Committee meeting, he suggested his replacement: Abell.
Eddy told council that Abell has stepped up to the plate since coming aboard and that, if approved, she would take over his ranks on May 1. In that same breath, Eddy said once he retires, he will serve as a special advisor for the city as he transitions Abell into her new position, if approved by city council at their city council meeting on Monday.
If Abell is OK’d to move into Eddy’s seat, she will start as an Interim City Manger, with the potential sometime down the line to have the “interim” taken off of her title.
Abell, 39, took over where previous Deputy City Manager, Curt Carver, took off. Carver announced his retirement with the city last year, but “accelerated his retirement”, forcing the city to look for a replacement much quicker than they anticipated.
After sifting through 85 resumes, Abell was selected by Eddy to be Carver’s replacement.
Prior to her coming aboard with the City of Gulf Breeze, Abell spent 4 years working as the City Manager for Gautier, Miss.
Abell also worked with the City of Gautier as the Director of Economic Development/Planning two years prior to accepting her job at the Gautier City Manager.
Despite having lived in Mississippi for over half a decade, Abell had prior ties to the Florida Panhandle. Abell served as the Planning and Economic Development Manager for the City of Fort Walton Beach from 2006-2010. And from 2000-2002, she served as the City Planner for the City of North Little Rock in Arkansas.
When Abell came aboard with the City of Gulf Breeze last year, her salary was set at $88,000.
Eddy said when contemplating who to hire to replace him, he looked at Abell who came in swinging last August and has proved she’s capable of filling the shoes he’s worn over the last 2 decades.
“Because of the work she’s done since she’s been here, since August, fitting right in with the staff…I recommend she takes over as interim city manager effective May 1,” Eddy told council with confidence on Wednesday.
Eddy has spent the last 25 years working for the City of Gulf Breeze. He announced his succession plan to the city shortly after announcing his retirement in January and stated he would spend 12 months after his retirement serving as a Special Advisor for the city.