Thomas A. Harmer, Sarasota County’s county administrator, has over 32 years of experience in local government, including nearly eight years as city manager of Titusville, Fla. He also served as executive director of the Community Development Agency in Titusville and as the city’s fire chief and emergency manager. He previously served as deputy fire chief and emergency manager in Tallahassee.
Before joining Sarasota County in August 2012 as the deputy county administrator, Harmer was senior vice president of The Pizzuti Companies, a national real estate developer. Harmer managed commercial and industrial projects and facilitated public-private partnerships to promote economic development in the Southeast, including new facilities and infrastructure adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Harmer is past president and honorary lifetime member of the Space Coast Public Management Association, a member of the Florida City County Management Association (FCCMA), and the International City County Management Association (ICMA). He is a member of the board of directors for the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) representing county government for ICMA. Harmer received a 30-year service award from ICMA and is an ICMA "Credentialed Manager."
In 1999, he was recognized by the Florida Legislature as Florida’s Fire Chief of the Year and in 2006 was recognized by the Florida League of Cities as a finalist for Florida City Manager of the Year. Harmer also was appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles to serve on the Governor’s Wildfire Response and Mitigation Review Committee after the 1998 wildfires.
Harmer has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Central Florida, where he also served as the chair of the Public Administration Advisory Board and as an adjunct instructor of local government and emergency management. He earned his bachelor’s degree in fire safety and engineering technology from the University of Cincinnati and graduated from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.
“Citizens expect a high level of services. They want value for their tax dollars and the fees that they pay, but they also expect a relatively high level of service. Historically, Sarasota County has been able to provide that.” - Thomas A. Harmer