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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Where there's a Will, there's a way (and job) in Pinellas



Will-Davis Pinellas County's environmental management director Will Davis was slated for layoff as the County Commission saluted him for 34 years of work Tuesday. In fact, the board hailed his receipt of this year’s Rick Wilkins Environmental Leadership Award from the Local Environmental Resource Agencies Inc. while a county spokesman reiterated Davis was still on the list of employees losing jobs in budget-cut layoffs.

But 51 hours later, a top county official sent an email Thursday saying Davis would stay on -- as interim director of risk management, the county's insurance office.

Risk management director Beth Wininger was forced out of her $114,000 a year job, news that surprised workers. According to her resignation letter, she accepted five weeks paid leave but left that day.

Assistant county administrator Mark Woodard said Friday that she was asked to resign due to "leadership issues." "When a manager loses the ability to lead a staff, the manager can no longer meet expectations," Woodard said.

He declined to elaborate much, though he said there's no investigation or other actions going on. A review of personnel records by the Bay Buzz showed "excellent" ratings that lauded her management on Wininger's performance reviews since taking the job in 2003. No 2009 review was provided.

Her resignation had a fax time stamp of 4:46 p.m. Thursday. Shortly before 6 p.m., Woodard emailed top county officials to announce Davis' new post, an interim role that will continue after his role in environmental management phases out.

Davis, paid $137,000 a year, doesn't have much, if any, insurance background, but Woodard lauded his overall management skills and county knowledge, and said he will rely on the technical experts in the department. Environmental management is being cut, dismantled and folded into other departments this fall.

Davis and Wininger didn't immediately return messages seeking comment Friday.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:41pm]


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