Historic City News readers have been cheering since learning the news that Assistant City Manager Tim Burchfield will retire in October. Word that Meredith Breidenstein would replace him was confirmed by the St Augustine City Commission during its regular meeting on Monday, June 10th.
Breidenstein, who is a certified public accountant, became the city’s first Director of Budget and Performance Management in 2016, a position created for her. She was promoted from Deputy Director of Finance, Budget and Management, where she basically had been doing Mark Litzinger’s $128,908.90 a year job since 2005.
In her current position, the 41-year-old Breidenstein who came to work at the City on 2/28/2005, earns $101,291.00 a year, plus benefits. Burchfield, who she is replacing, is currently collecting $156,131.50 a year, plus benefits.
Breidenstein is well qualified to lead the City forward. When either the commission finds the backbone to fire John Regan, or law enforcement authorities sweep in to arrest him, Breidenstein is an excellent candidate for his job. We don’t need an engineer as a city manager. Had we had someone with Breidenstein’s character and financial experience at the helm during the five-year hemorrhaging of money in the name of the 450th Commemoration, we would be in a much better place today.
She is the point person for interactions with numerous state and federal agencies regarding reimbursements for disaster recovery following Hurricanes Matthew and Irma and is involved daily with the development and management of the city’s budget and financial planning.
Breidenstein’s new role was unanimously confirmed when the commission approved its consent agenda. Although the appointment is made by the city manager, because the assistant city manager may at times act in the city manager’s absence, the commission affirms the selection.
A native of South Carolina, Breidenstein relocated to Florida in 2003 and worked as an internal auditor with Vystar Credit Union before joining the city.