LaSala remakes Pinellas County's top brass
Another assistant county administrator has decided to retire. James Dates will leave at the end of the year after talking with County Administrator Bob LaSala about his future. "He's been thinking about it for some time," LaSala said of Dates, who has been the county's point man on overhauling the EMS system.
LaSala has tapped Maureen Freaney to fill the opening. Freaney is the county's health and human services director.
But with Dates' departure and Elithia Stanfield's retirement -- she'll be replaced by Hillsborough administrator Carl Harness -- LaSala has remade the top floor of the county courthouse. He let Liz Warren go as an assistant county administrator last year. Chief assistant county administrator Mark Woodard remains.
He downplayed any hard personnel shifts -- "opportunities presented themselves" -- noting the new appointees will not have the same roles as others. But he's clearly bringing in people that match his goals, and he said they'll be "cross-trained" to do various roles. Freaney will oversee public safety issues and Harness will have health care, he said.
"I hired both of them for their management and leadership," said LaSala, who took over in late 2008.
Harness will be paid $164,000, and Freaney $155,500.