Walton County TDC selects Jim Bagby as new executive director

Matt Algarin

After almost 10 years as the Town Manager in Rosemary Beach and seven years on the Destin City Council, Jim Bagby has been chosen to head up the Walton County Tourist Development Council as its new executive director.

"It's a great opportunity, and I'm excited about it," Bagby told The Log.

Although he will step down from his post in Rosemary Beach, Bagby said he has no plans to step down from his seat on the Destin City Council, where he has served since 2006. Bagby's second term ends in March 2014.

City officials told The Log that there is no language in the city's charter that would require the Texas native to step down from the city council to serve as the TDC head.

"There are still some things I'd like to take care of in Destin,” he said.

Bagby finished first among eight finalists for the spot that was vacated when Dawn Moliterno stepped down April 9. Bagby told The Log that he expected to wrap up his contract negotiations in the next week or two. Bagby is also required to give Rosemary Beach a 30-day notice.

"I may pull double duty for a while," he said of his transition from Rosemary Beach to the Walton County TDC.

Although he will head up the TDC, Walton County Public Information Manager Louis Svelha told The Log that Bagby would not be required to live in Walton County, but only a surrounding county. The salary range for the executive director is $76,000 - $130,000. As town manager in Rosemary Beach, Bagby's salary was $125,000.

As for his time as Rosemary's town manager, Bagby said he will look back on it with nothing but fond memories and a sense of accomplishment.

"I've watched this place grow up from a town where half of the lots didn't have anything on them, to a town that's almost built out," he said. "They asked me to build a town, and I feel like I did that."

Looking forward at the TDC, Bagby said he is ready to take the lead.

"My first thing is to engage the community," he said. "I have some ideas and a lot of energy."