Make us your home page
Instagram

Pinellas County hands out first 79 pinks slips

CLEARWATER — Clerk of Court Ken Burke gave 39 employees pink slips Friday as spending cuts begin to pare the ranks of Pinellas County workers.

Another 40 employes lost their jobs in layoffs at Pinellas Business Technology Services this week. They were forced to immediately leave the county agency for security reasons.

On Monday, more than 200 additional employees will learn that they will lose their jobs by the fall in notices sent by County Administrator Bob LaSala.

"Morale has definitely been higher. … This is a very high-stress time. A lot of people are scared," technology director Paul Alexander said.

More than 780 jobs will be cut from the entire county payroll when the next budget year starts Oct. 1, a 12 percent cut from a year earlier. The employees that remain will make up the smallest work force under the County Commission and the administrator since 1988, according to a budget report this week.

It also will be the smallest work force since 2005 for Burke, Sheriff Jim Coats, other independent agencies and elected officials.

The punctured economy and state-mandated property tax reductions have led to an $85 million reduction next year in the county general fund, which is used to pay for salaries and many government services. LaSala asked departments to slash their budgets by 20 percent.

Most of Burke's layoffs will take effect June 26 because they fall under the state budget system, in which the fiscal year ends June 30. The Legislature decided to shift fee revenue for clerks to courts this spring, producing most of the job cuts, Burke said.

The remaining clerk's employees will lose jobs by Sept. 30, the end of the current county budget and the last day for workers let go by LaSala.

LaSala and the County Commission's cuts include axing 379 rank-and-file jobs and 34 management posts, assistant personnel director Gene Pressoir said. That's higher than LaSala discussed in public meetings this week. He and aides did not immediately return calls for an explanation.

Departures were particularly harsh in the technology services agency, where laid-off workers were ushered out to protect secure computer systems. They will have to retrieve personal items later. They will get three weeks of pay.

Job loss fears have prompted employees to submit ideas for ways to cut services. In May, employee Diane Evans sent a countywide e-mail blast of suggestions, including reducing the workweek by a day.

Surviving workers face new duties. About 300 of LaSala's employees will have to change jobs under the county's personnel rules to maintain a paycheck.

Three dozen clerk's employees also will "bump" into other jobs. Another four will retire or resign.

However, the county still needs to cut $10 million by Sept. 30.

David DeCamp can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4167.

Pinellas County hands out first 79 pinks slips 06/05/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 5, 2009 11:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Study: Florida has fourth-most competitive tax code

    Banking

    Florida's tax code is the fourth most competitive in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by nonprofit group Tax Foundation.

    Florida has the fourth-most competitive tax code, a study by the Tax Foundation said. Pictured is  Riley Holmes, III, H&R Block tax specialist, helping a client with their tax return in April. | [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
  2. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]
  3. Clearwater attorney accused of condo foreclosure trickery fights back

    Real Estate

    The Clearwater lawyer accused of tricking a bidder into paying $458,100 for a gulf-front condo now plans to contest a judge's order tossing out the sale.

    John Houde, left, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground, in August during a hearing Sixth Judicial Circuit court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse. The judge agreed with Houde's allegation that he was duped by Skelton in thinking he bought a Redington Beach condo for $458,100 out of a foreclosure auction. Now Skelton is fighting back. 
[DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA

    Agriculture

    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]
  5. Pinellas deputies go door-to-door at dawn to arrest unlicensed contractors

    Crime

    Pinellas deputies began pounding on doors at 5 a.m. Tuesday, part of a widespread roundup of contractors accused of working without licences and workers compensation.

    Pinellas Sheriff deputies J. Short, left, and T. Festa, right, arrest suspect Randy Ronchi, center, in Largo early Tuesday, as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]