Pinellas County administrator earns praise from commissioners
Pinellas County commissioners continued to heap praise on their chief executive.
The seven-member board again gave county administrator Mark Woodard glowing evaluations on Tuesday during a review of his performance.
"The amount of work and expertise and poise that Mr. Woodard demonstrates on a day-to-day basis is impressive, and it's been a joy to work with you," Chairman Charlie Justice told Woodard.
Woodard was scored by each commissioner in 10 categories and earned 193.7 points out of a possible 210. He scored perfectly in professional skills and characteristics and ensuring public health, safety and welfare.
Near-perfect marks followed in budget management, relations with commissioners, communications and reporting and delivering first-class services.
Woodard joined the county in 1988 as senior financial analyst and served as director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1994 until 2001, when he was tapped to serve as assistant county administrator. He kept that role under Bob LaSala, who was fired in April 2014 amid commissioners' growing discontent with his job performance. Woodard was first named acting administrator and given the permanent position four months later.
Commissioners lauded Woodard Tuesday for continuing to improve partnerships across the county and for working too many hours.
"You're really stepped up," commissioner Dave Eggers told Woodard. "I'm very happy with the quality of the work."
Commissioner Pat Gerard thanked Woodard for his transparency, ethics and quick response to requests for information. But she chided him for answering emails late at night.
"I appreciate the responsiveness, but you need a life man," Gerard joked.
"I'm working on it commissioner," Woodard replied, laughing.
Other commissioners joked they don't mind Woodard's late night texts and emails.
In written evaluations, commissioners described Woodard as disciplined, incredibly thorough and someone who accepts criticism and advice with maturity and respect. They also said he knows where every penny is in the budget.
But commissioners did see room for improvement.
Commissioner Ken Welch faulted the county for not having enough diversity in the workforce. But he said Woodard inherited that problem and is working to improve numbers.
"I'm excited about where we are," Welch said.
Woodard has also received the same 3 percent raise that other county employees earned.