SOUTHINGTON - Town Manager Garry Brumback has announced in an email to town staff that he plans to retire by February in order to be with his father in Florida.
Brumback was first hired in 2011 to replace long-serving town manager John Weichsel. He previously served as the town manager of Clearwater, Texas, for seven years, and he also served for 20 years in the U.S. Army. A native of Florida, Brumback applied last February for the city manager position in Fort Meyers, Fla. He was one of six finalists, but ultimately didn’t get the position. Brumback stated that his intention was to move closer to his father, who at the time was in poor health. Later that year, Brumback said he planned to stay in Southington because his father’s health had improved. At the time, he praised the Southington community and said that he could “have his cake and eat it too.”
Tuesday morning, Brumback announced in the internal email that his plans had once again changed. According to Town Council Chairman Mike Riccio, in the email he thanked the council for “wonderful years of service” and announced that he had “decided it was time to retire.”
“He said that he would retire no later than February 1,” said Riccio. “We don’t know what the next step from here is; we need to get together to talk soon.”
A source provided the transcript of Brumback’s email:
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as town manager of Southington since 2011,” said Brumback. “It is with mixed emotion that I have decided to retire. Working with Southington’s amazing staff of professionals and dedicated elected officials, business leaders and community members has been a true highlight of my career. I am humbled by and grateful for this opportunity. At this point, I need to spend my time with my father and this community deserves a manager focused entirely on Southington. I am proud of what we have accomplished together. Jen (his wife) and I have made extraordinary friendships that will continue long after my retirement.
Thanks to the town council and all elected officials for their support and dedication and to the tire community for their warm welcome and for granting me a chance to serve Southington. My current plan is to retire no later than Feb. 1, 2018.”
Councilor Ed Pocock, who was town council chairman when Brumback was appointed, said Brumback had done a “wonderful job” during his tenure.
“He got a lot done, but I understand his position - he wants to spend as much time as he can with his father and he is making a personal sacrifice to do it,” said Pocock
“Garry was a wonderful town manager,” said Councilor Victoria Triano. “He was a professional in every sense - he kept the council and residents informed all the time. I wish him well and I am sad to see him go.”
Councilor Tom Lombardi said that Brumback “will be missed” but that he understands family comes first.
“It was an absolute honor to work with him,” said Lombardi. “He was professional and non-political in his way of dealing with things and he did what was in the best interests of the town. It was not easy to come to this town after John Weichsel had served for such a long time. He did things that the town had never done before and many people don’t know how good a leader he is.”
Brumback’s leadership helped the town save a lot of money by consolidating departments, Councilor Paul Champagne. “He has done a wonderful job and I’m really going to miss him,” said Champagne. “He helped get the town back into maintenance mode where we started to fix things that were lacking for years. He brought a lot of great leadership skills.”
Councilor Chris Palmieri said Southington is a better place to live since Brumback first arrived.
“We appreciate the efforts he made to make Southington his own home,” he said. “We acknowledge and we thank him for his time and service.”
Brumback could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.