On December 20, 2021, the City of St Augustine reported to Historic City News that a new assistant city manager position has been created within the organization. City Manager John Regan has promoted Planning and Building Director David Birchim to be responsible for large-scale, long-term strategic initiatives for the city commission.
Meredith Breidenstein will continue in her position as Assistant City Manager overseeing administrative, departmental, and financial operations for the city. Some of the “strategic initiatives” the city is developing include a commuter rail project, affordable housing solutions, homelessness housing alternatives, relocation of the Anastasia Island fire station, relocation of the St Augustine Police Department, and additional satellite parking venues.
“With many of these initiatives, David is critical to the understanding and development of their design and implementation,” City Manager John Regan said. “By allowing him to focus solely on these projects, his experience and expertise will be dedicated to the strategic vision of maintaining vibrancy and livability in our city.”
Birchim started his career 24 years ago on December 29, 1997, as a Planner II, then Senior Planner, Planning Manager, and Deputy Director, before ultimately becoming the Planning and Building Director in 2015. His knowledge of City code and building and development practices, in addition to his ability to articulate the design and intention of projects to the volunteer boards and the City Commission, is unparalleled, according to Regan.
In promoting Birchim to the new assistant city manager position, Regan claims that the city will continue to benefit from his expertise. Regan is no doubt hoping that promoting Birchim to work more closely with long-term planning and development opens the door to more success on these gnawing City projects, some of which have been in the pipeline for years.