Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Evaluation of Hernando administrator generally good, but with reservations

Len Sossamon’s overall score was 4.17 on a scale of 1 to 5.

Len Sossamon’s overall score was 4.17 on a scale of 1 to 5.

BROOKSVILLE — County Administrator Len Sossamon, who celebrated his fifth anniversary with Hernando County last month — a long tenure, given the county's revolving door of administrators — has received his second-toughest evaluation to date from county commissioners.

Sossamon, 66, was in the cross hairs of a lot of political wrangling during last year's elections. And this week, the County Commission considered a nationwide search to find a new economic development director, a job he holds along with his duties as administrator. Commissioners opted to wait on the search and possibly revisit it later.

Sossamon's overall score was 4.17 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best mark. That compares with last year's score of 4.49, and 4.64 the previous year. In the first year after his arrival in 2012, commissioners scored him at 4.09.

Like last year, when the newest commissioner then, Jeff Holcomb, gave him a mediocre score, this year's lowest ratings came from new commissioners John Allocco, Steve Champion and John Mitten. Mitten has been filling in for Holcomb while he was fulfilling military service and completed two separate evaluations — one reviewing Sossamon as county administrator and one as economic development director.

Holcomb returns to his seat this month.

The highest marks came from commission Chairman Wayne Dukes, who, as in previous years, gave Sossamon all 5's. A score of 5 indicates "excellent/proficient" in the 15 categories, including such traits as planning, organizing, financial management, creativity and ethics.

Dukes complimented Sossamon for "great leadership skills'' and suggested that his goal for the future should be "continuing to make government more efficient.''

Commissioner Nick Nicholson gave Sossamon his next-highest score, 4.67, and listed among the administrator's strongest traits: "protects the (county) employees, has a vision to make Hernando County a place people want to come to, good at bring(ing) jobs to the county.'' He also noted that Sossamon's shifting of people into proper positions has made the county "more efficient and customer friendly.''

The lowest score came from Allocco, at 3.27. He filled out separate comment sheets for Sossamon's two roles and docked him in points, saying he needs to improve his communication with the commission and the public. He cited controversy over sharing budgeting information with the sheriff and others, but gave him high grades for his energy and resilience.

Likewise, Champion marked Sossamon down for communication with the commission. Both Allocco and Champion pushed for more focus on economic development and issues that have erupted at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

Mitten, who has worked with Sossamon for less than three months, urged a full-time economic development director while praising him as an administrator.

"Len is a gifted administrator and is at home in government,'' he wrote. "A pleasure to work with, not easily swayed and wonderfully clever.''

Sossamon has been Hernando's longest-serving administrator since the County Commission fired 13-year administrator Chuck Hetrick in August 1997.

Sossamon's current annual salary is $199,389.

Contact Barbara Behrendt at bbehrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434

Evaluation of Hernando administrator generally good, but with reservations 06/14/17 [Last modified: Thursday, June 15, 2017 2:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Late night update: Second wave follows Tropical Storm Harvey

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 11 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  3. Stealth anti-Jack Latvala group tied to Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    Politico reports:

     A longtime political consultant for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is behind a website calling one of his rivals in the race, state Sen. Jack Latvala, a “liberal.”

  4. Council gives in to pension dispute with St. Pete firefighters

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council was forced to consider its first labor dispute in years Thursday when it gave the firefighters union most of the pension enhancements it has long asked for.

    The firefighters’ union won a pension victory at Thursday’s City Council meeting. [SCOTT KEELER    |      TIMES]
  5. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE

    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.