Safety Harbor officials honor Bruce Haddock after he honors them

Oldsmar City Manager Bruce Haddock (center) is flanked by Safety Harbor City Manager Matt Spoor (l) and Mayor Joe Ayoub after the officials handed out awards and accolades during the City Commission meeting on June 8, 2017.

Oldsmar City Manager Bruce Haddock appeared at the Safety Harbor City Commission meeting on Thursday, June 8 to present a certificate of achievement to officials in honor of the city’s 90th anniversary of utilizing a council-manager form of government.

But Safety Harbor’s mayor and city manager turned the tables on the retiring Oldsmar official, honoring Haddock for his 30-years of service to the city and his 40-plus year professional career.

After Haddock explained the significance of the certificate he was presenting, noting “the council-manager form of government was created to help separate administrative oversight from direct political influence while providing elected officials with a high level of professional expertise,” Mayor Joe Ayoub and City Manager Matt Spoor surprised Haddock by saying they had “a little something” for him.

“I think this is a trick of some kind!” Haddock said.

Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub prepares to present Oldsmar City Manager Bruce Haddock with a key to the city during the Safety Harbor City Commission meeting on June 8, 2017.

Ayoub then read a list of highlights from Haddock’s storied career in local government, which began in 1974 before he moved to Oldsmar in 1986.

“Oldsmar switched from a strong mayor form of government to a council-manager form of government in the early 1980, hiring its first city manager in 1981,” Ayoub said. “When hired, Mr. Haddock was Oldsmar’s fifth city manager in five years.”

“His longevity is a testament to his leadership, fiscal prowess (and) his ability to foresee the needs of the city. It is through his guidance, judgement and management that Oldsmar has grown into the city that it is today.”

“So, on behalf of the City of Safety Harbor, its residents and its employees, the City Commission recognizes Bruce Haddock for his exemplary career in municipal leadership, his service as one of the longest serving city managers in the state of Florida, his positive and lasting impact to Oldsmar and North Pinellas, and for being a good friend and neighbor to the City of Safety Harbor for the past 30 years. Thank you very much.”

Haddock admitted how surprised he was as he thanked Ayoub and Spoor, who handed him a key to the city as he simultaneously presented them with their certificate of recognition for their council-manager anniversary.

Safety Harbor City Manager Matt Spoor shakes hands with his longtime friend and mentor, Oldsmar City Manager Bruce Haddock, during the June 8, 2017 Safety Harbor City Commission meeting.

Afterward, Spoor, who considers Haddock a longtime friend and mentor, shared his thoughts on the special moment.

“When I became Interim City Manager in 2007 the first person to reach out to me was Bruce Haddock,” Spoor wrote Oldsmar Connect via email.

“Bruce has been a close mentor and friend during my tenure in Safety Harbor. Leading Oldsmar for the past 30+ years, Bruce has been a good neighbor and is very deserving of the recognition he is receiving.  I wish Bruce and Retha much peace and happiness as they enter the next chapter in their life. Congrats Bruce!”

Haddock is scheduled to retire on October 1, although he will hold an advisory position until January 31, 2018 as the Oldsmar transitions to a new city manager for the first time in more than three decades.

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