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Dade City's attorney to quit two other government jobs

DADE CITY — For the past few years, City Attorney Karla Owens has juggled several jobs at City Hall.

On Dec. 31, the juggling act will be up.

Owens will resign at year's end from her roles as director of safety services and director of community development. She will continue to work as city attorney, a part-time position.

Owens, who gave notice of the resignations last week, said she plans to spend more time taking care of her parents, who live in St. Petersburg.

"I just want to be able to spend more time with them," Owens said, adding that other family members live out of state. "I'm basically the only family they have."

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

She also took on the responsibilities of overseeing the city's safety services when the former director resigned in 2007.

Owens earns $25,000 annually for her legal services plus $55,000 for her other positions.

"I get separate paychecks because they're different job functions," Owens said.

Owens said she expects to continue earning her current attorney salary. The commission oversees the position and will likely discuss her contract at the next meeting.

As attorney, Owens receives health insurance coverage but no vacation or sick pay. The city also reimburses her bar dues, about $325 per year.

City Manager Billy Poe said the community development position will be advertised. He is currently reviewing the safety services vacancy to determine whether it needs to be filled or if the duties can be split among current staff.

Owens' resignation came just days after Commissioner Steve Van Gorden surprised the city with the announcement that he was leaving his post this month.

In June, Van Gorden suggested that Owens become a part-time employee as a cost-savings measure to the city, but the commission never pursued the issue.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Dade City's attorney to quit two other government jobs 11/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 7:46pm]
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