Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Commissioner suggests changing Dade City job to part-time position

DADE CITY — As a potential cost-saving measure, City Commissioner Steve Van Gorden is floating the idea of turning Karla Owens' job as city attorney and community development director into a part-time position.

"I explained to Karla it's nothing against her," Van Gorden said before the Tuesday evening commission meeting. "But I feel in a tight budget we need to look at all our options."

Owens started working for the city as a part-time attorney in July 2003, but became full time a few months later when she also took on the role of community development director. Planning, land use and zoning issues were her legal expertise.

The development position is overseen by the city manager, not the commission.

Owens earns $80,000 annually, including a $25,000 flat fee for her role as part-time attorney.

Neighboring Zephyrhills, whose 2008-09 budget was more than triple Dade City's, pays $40,000 annually for part-time legal services. The city also pays its full-time planner — its equivalent of a community development director — $67,000.

Before Tuesday's meeting, Owens said her dual roles offer the city a benefit. She brings her legal expertise to planning and zoning decisions.

"I've been an attorney so long, it's hard for me to not think of everything I do from a legal standpoint," she said.

It was not clear Tuesday if Van Gorden's idea would be considered by the commission, or if any other officials shared his view.

City commissioners have turned in their evaluations of Owens, City Manager Billy Poe and Clerk Jim Class — the three officials they oversee.

The reviews were not available Tuesday. Mayor Scott Black said he had not yet compiled them.

The commission will hold a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. next Tuesday to discuss the evaluations as a group.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at or (813) 435-7312.

Commissioner suggests changing Dade City job to part-time position 06/09/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 8:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Still worried about family, Tampa Bay Puerto Ricans ramp up relief effort


    TAMPA — Brenda Irizarry is worried.

    Brenda Irizarry of Tampa, while agonizing over the status of family in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, is helping lead an effort to collect and send supplies to the island. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  2. Was it a crime? 10 patients at nursing home died after Irma


    HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — A 10th elderly patient has died after being kept inside a nursing home that turned into a sweatbox when Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning for three days, even though just across the street was a fully functioning and cooled hospital.

    The Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, 1200 N. 35th Ave. [EMILHY MICHOT | Miami Herald]
  3. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us


    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on display, and it brought illness and death.

    Tampa Bay Times staff writer Craig Pittman.
  4. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  5. Facebook to release Russia ads to Congress amid pressure

    NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators.