News of the sudden death of former McCall City Manager Gene Drabinski brought sadness to the Valley County resort community through the holiday week, as residents heard Drabinski had been killed in a southern California car accident.
In an interview last spring, Drabinski said he was looking forward to retirement and had only committed to be McCall's city manager for three years. Drabinski, 71, ultimately stepped down in August, making way for 32-year-old Nate Coyle, the city's third city manager in as many years.
McCall is one of only three Idaho cities—including Lewiston and Twin Falls—that have a city manager form of government. Simply put, the city manager is in charge, rather than the mayor.
According to the McCall Star-News, Drabinski was struck and killed by a vehicle on Dec. 19 as he was crossing an intersection in Los Angeles. He died of head injuries a short time later.
Drabinski, a Vietnam War veteran, worked in the health care industry for decades, becoming the president and chief operating officer of Healthwise. Remembrances from former Healthwise colleagues began filling up the company's website following news of Drabinski's death When he moved to McCall, Drabinski volunteered at the community's free health care clinic and served on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission. He was asked to step in to the position of city manager in 2012 on a temporary basis.
Drabinski's family says they're planning a memorial service and an announcement was pending.