Columnist Tom Jackson hired by Pasco Clerk Paula O'Neil
Former Tampa Tribune columnist Tom Jackson is now working for Pasco Circuit Court Clerk and Comptroller Paula S. O’Neil, responding to public records requests.
Jackson is being paid $50,000 with no benefits under a 12-month contract requiring him to work 20 hours weekly, O’Neil said.
In a July 6 memo to her staff announcing the hiring, O’Neil said, the number of public records requests has grown from 56 requests in 2012 to 272 (involving more than 600 email messages) in the first nine months of the current fiscal year.
She noted a 2015 Tampa Bay Times story about cities and counties being forced to make payouts for non-compliance to records requests.
Until Jackson’s hiring, public records requests to the clerk were handled by O’Neil’s information technology director, Tim Jamison. O’Neil, however, said she need Jamison to concentrate on his primary duties.
“It works really well for us. We’re fortunate to have him,’’ O’Neil said of Jackson.
Jackson couldn’t be reached for immediate comment.
He became available when the Tampa Bay Times acquired, then folded the Tribune in May. He also writes columns for The Laker, a weekly newspaper in central Pasco, and for web-based outlets.