PLANT CITY A familiar face is returning to the city manager's office.
City commissioners on Thursday appointed retired City Manager David Sollenberger to take the place of outgoing City Manager Greg Horwedel on an interim basis. Horwedel is leaving to become deputy Hillsborough County administrator.
Horwedel, 52. was appointed city manager in 2010 after the retirement of Sollenberger, who held the job nearly eight years.
Sollenberger, 77, who still lives in Plant City, said he was looking forward to returning to the job temporarily. He said he loves Plant City and its people.
“What more could a city manager ask for,” said Sollenberger, who added that he has no interest in taking the job permanently.
Sollenberger's first day on the job is expected to be Wednesday. City commissioners said they will release Horwedel from his contract three days after Sollenberger starts so he can take his new position with the county on March 31.
Sollenberger started his career in 1958 as an eighth-grade teacher but in the early 1960s, he reevaluated his goals and decided to go into government administration, influenced in part by memories of a city manager who talked to his class when he was still in high school. He earned a master's degree in government administration from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1963 took a job as an intern in Vallejo, Calif., eventually working his way up to city manager. He spent most of his remaining career in city government, mainly as city manager.
He retired as Sarasota city manager before he was hired by Plant City in September 2002, first as interim city manager. He was appointed to the job in December 2002.
Assistant City Manager Bill McDaniel has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the city's top administrative post, but he withdrew his name from consideration for the interim position.