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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pinellas commissioners give LaSala good marks



Four years into Bob LaSala’s tenure as Pinellas’s county administrator, most commissioners still like him quite a bit.

On his annual performance review, LaSala received average ratings between good and excellent in categories like integrity, organizational planning and management, and strategic leadership. He got a more middling response from commissioners in other areas, such as communication and policy facilitation, where they rated him satisfactory to good.

LaSala took the $225,000 job in 2008. On Tuesday, commissioners put off the question of a salary increase, noting they would bring it up again when they discuss whether to give county employees raises later this year.

The annual survey doesn't leave much room for nuance. It asks the seven commissioners to rank LaSala on a scale of one (needs attention) to four (excellent). But it is a window into their thinking, or as much of it as they're willing to make public.

As was true last year, Commissioners John Morroni and Susan Latvala gave LaSala his highest rankings. Morroni rated the administrator "excellent" in every category, raving at the end of his review: "This is the first time I have given a perfect 'excellent' review. The reason is you deserve it!"

And for the second year, Commissioner Norm Roche gave LaSala his lowest marks, rating him below satisfactory in six areas, including operational planning, budgeting, and mediation/negotiation, among others.

Roche did not explain his thinking on the form or at the Tuesday commission meeting where the board briefly discussed the review.

Commissioner Janet Long gave LaSala his second lowest score and was critical of his handling of "media relations" and "interpersonal communication."

But on Tuesday, she presented a sunnier take on the administrator's performance.

"It's been an extreme pleasure working with Bob," she said. "And I appreciate and value very much your work ethic and your desire to keep us in the loop and give us a heads up so we aren't blind sided by things."

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 6:15pm]


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