Umatilla city manager heads to Apopka

Umatilla City Manager Glenn Irby has been hired as chief administrator in Apopka, Orange County’s second-largest city.

Irby, 57, has managed city government in Umatilla since 2006. He played a major role in shaping the redevelopment of Umatilla’s downtown district and significantly expanding the city’s airport.

Irby grew up in Lake County, graduated from Eustis High School and Lake-Sumter State College — then a community college — and the University of Central Florida. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Troy State University.

At Umatilla Airport, Irby structured Umatilla’s first public-private partnership and turned the cash-draining single-strip field into a modern facility with 13 hangars, offices, a flight school, a fuel depot, a parallel taxiway and tie-down ramp that are fully occupied, and generating positive cash flow for the city. Irby found grants to fund the $200,000 fuel depot at a cost to the city of only $3,800. Umatilla invested about $400,000 to build hangars valued at more than $1 million.

Umatilla City Manager Glen Irby poses for a photo in Umatilla, on Monday, Jan. 21, 2014. He has been hired as Apopka’s next chief administrator. (photo credit: Brett Le Blanc/Daily Commercial)

Umatilla City Manager Glen Irby poses for a photo in Umatilla, on Monday, Jan. 21, 2014. He has been hired as Apopka’s next chief administrator. (photo credit: Brett Le Blanc/Daily Commercial)

In the downtown area, Irby teamed up with developer Daniel DiVenanzo, who acquired three downtown buildings frequented by drug abusers and redeveloped them into commercial showplaces.

“What was once an eyesore and a public nuisance is now the anchor of a vibrant little downtown area that generates positive tax revenues, and a livelihood for more than two dozen business owners,” Irby said.

In Apopka, Irby will be working for Mayor Joe Kilsheimer, who earlier this year defeated John Land — Florida’s longest-serving mayor.

“Mayor Kilsheimer and I hit it off from the start,” Irby said. “He’s the guy Apopka needs now if the city is going to live up to its potential,” he said.

Kilsheimer founded Joe Kilsheimer Consulting Inc., a public relations and public affairs firm that represented Lake County clients like Niagara Bottling in Groveland and Covanta in Okahumpka.

Irby’s contract with Umatilla requires him to give 60 days’ notice before leaving the city, but he won’t be leaving entirely.

“The best thing about Apopka is I don’t have to move from our home in Umatilla,” Irby said. Irby is married with five children, the youngest of whom is 6.

Irby is paid $96,530 in Umatilla and will receive $125,000 in Apopka.

According to Irby’s Linkedin profile, he spent 10 years with the Eustis Police Department; went from an accountant to city administrator to finance director in Tavares; was mayor in Minneola; city manager in Mascotte; and worked for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office’s business unit before becoming city manager in Umatilla.

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