Panama City Beach officials approve contract with new city manager

It is official! After months of searching, Panama City Beach has a new city manager. (WJHG/WECP)
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It's official: After months of searching, Panama City Beach has a new city manager. Panama City Beach leaders unanimously approved Anthony O'Rourke's contract during Thursday's council meeting.

O’Rourke is set to make $170,000 plus benefits. This is higher than the salary of their previous city manager Mario Gisbert. Gisbert’s salary was around $140,000.

Panama City Beach officials say O’Rourke’s salary is comparable to other city managers in the state whose population sizes are similar to Panama City Beach.

"I think we're getting a person that's steps in ready to go to work,” said Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas. “He's already been sending in notes and emails asking for paperwork. He has been on the job since the day he and his wife decided to take it."

Panama City Beach Councilman Geoff McConnell said O’Rourke has served as city administrator and city manager for several cities across the country including Coral Springs, Florida. McConnell said O’Rourke is eager to prove to staff and the community why he is worth every penny.

"He wants to get out and talk to the community,” said McConnell. “He wants to talk to the business leaders. He wants to talk to the employers. He is doing an employee survey and community survey to try and get a feel for what those kinda folks want. He's also setting up a strategic plan, a five year strategic plan and tying it to a five year budget."

O’Rourke is set to start working January 15. To learn more about O’Rourke, his qualifications, and salary please look at our attached documents.

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