Kisela re-hired as city manager

Matt Algarin

After resigning as city manager in 2011, Greg Kisela is on his way back to the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village," after agreeing to a contract.

“When I first got the phone call, I was caught flat footed,” Kisela told The Log Thursday morning. “It’s not often that a manager gets to come back. It was a nice and pleasant surprise.”

Per the terms of his new contact, Kisela will be paid a base salary of $116,197.87. With the addition of a car allowance($500 monthly, insurance and retirement contributions, his total compensation will be $159,191.08.

Kisela officially resigned as city manager in Port Orange, Fla., Monday evening, according to an article from the Daytona Beach News Journal.

“If you are completely happy where you are, when someone calls with another job offer you aren’t going to be receptive,” Kisela was quoted as saying in the article, which also outlined a series of resignations that have plagued the city recently.

Kisela was Destin's city manager from 2003 to 2011 before he resigned to become the county administrator in Walton County. He was hired as the city manager in Port Orange in January 2013 with a salary of $135,000.

As for current city manager Maryann Ustick, her last day for the city of Destin is slated for Aug. 19. She has already accepted a position to become the city manager in Gallup, New Mexico. Ustick cited family as the reason for her resignation.

Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell told The Log Kisela is a good fit for the city, given his history in Destin.

“I look forward to working with Mr. Kisela as I know his experience with our city will allow him to assume duties without missing a beat,” she wrote in an email. “His obvious love of our city and concern about its well-being, as well as his prior knowledge of Destin, are tremendous assets and will be extremely beneficial as we tackle many important issues in the coming months.”

Kisela is expected to begin work in Destin in early September, according to a news release from the city. Now that he’s coming “home,” Kisela said he’s ready to get to work.

“We’ve got to get Norriego Point complete and find out how we can safely get people across Highway 98 in the harbor,” he said.

And now that the contract is signed, Kisela and his wife, Lucy, can settle in for the long haul.

“This is it,” he said. “This is where I’m going to finish my career.”