Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

Finalist for Hernando County administrator position decides to drop out

BROOKSVILLE — The list of finalists for the job of Hernando County administrator has thinned.

On Tuesday, John Daly, manager-director for the Genesee County Road Commission in Flint, Mich., dropped out of the running, leaving just four finalists to be interviewed by county commissioners next week.

Daly, 67, said that, in retrospect, he didn't think the Hernando position was appropriate for him.

"As I was researching the position, it just didn't seem like a good fit to me,'' Daly said Tuesday afternoon.

He wouldn't specify what he found that made him reconsider his decision to apply for the job, which he said he had seen advertised online. He added that the search firm the county is using, Colin Baenziger & Associates, is "a top-notch consultant in my experience,'' and he predicted that Hernando commissioners would find what they are looking for in the remaining finalists.

Those finalists include Robert Michael "Mike" Herr, who served as Hernando's deputy administrator in the late 1980s and early 1990s and who is currently president of Econ South; Ed Green, who was county manager for Garfield County, Colo., from 1998 until he was dismissed in January; Leonard B. Sossamon, who served as county administrator of Newberry County, S.C., from 2004 through 2006 and city manager of Concord, N.C., from 1985 to 1998; and James E. Wilson, who served in top leadership capacities for Gainesville County, Texas, from 1999 to 2011.

Commissioners did not seem concerned that they now would be choosing from a group of just four.

Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes said he understood from Baenziger that Daly decided to leave the field after taking a closer look at County Commission meetings.

"He watched a few of our meetings on the Internet, and he decided he didn't want any part of that,'' Dukes said.

While losing a finalist gives the commissioners fewer choices, Dukes said it was getting pretty late in the process to do much other than consider the remaining candidates, two of whom also have been named finalists for other jobs.

Commissioner John Druzbick said he "would hope that any of the finalists would have done their homework and gone online'' to see what they were getting themselves into before applying for the job.

As for two of the candidates being finalists in multiple locales, Druzbick said he wasn't concerned. He said if they were good enough to be considered for Hernando, they certainly could land on short lists in other places.

Before it was known that Daly had dropped out of contention, during Tuesday's County Commission meeting, former Hernando code enforcement director Frank McDowell urged commissioners to stick with the short list given to them by Baenziger and not expand the list of finalists.

"It's not prudent,'' McDowell said.

McDowell was concerned because Dukes has said that he is keeping an open mind about the applicants, but was concerned that the only internal candidate for the job, chief procurement officer Russell Wetherington, didn't make the short list.

Interim County Administrator Ron Pianta warned commissioners that if they add someone outside of the finalists researched and recommended by Baenziger, they could jeopardize the firm's contractual guarantee.

The guarantee is that if the commission chooses an administrator from Baenziger's list and that person leaves within a year, Baenziger will do another search at no cost. If the person leaves within two years, Baenzinger will do a new search at cost.

Commissioners did not discuss the administrator finalists during their Tuesday meeting. They will meet the remaining four candidates next Tuesday at receptions planned for county leadership and at 5 p.m. for the public at the Hernando County Airport office.

One-on-one interviews with commissioners are slated for April 4 in the morning, and public interviews for 2 p.m. that day in the commission chambers. The commissioners are expected to make a selection by April 10.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries.Both want to redevelop the city’s former office of cable c...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

TAMPA — To his friends and neighbors at Tampa Baptist Manor, Norman Lester Porterfield was the man who fed and spoiled Lucky, the scruffy stray calico cat in the back yard. But the Tampa Police Department says he’s also the man they found dead in Hil...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Lightning’s Victor Hedman salutes survivors in Norris Trophy acceptance speech

Lightning’s Victor Hedman salutes survivors in Norris Trophy acceptance speech

The victims and survivors of three tragedies — the mass shootings in Las Vegas and at Parkland Stoneman Douglas High School, and the bus accident that killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team — were a big part of Wedne...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The all-time NBA draft — the best pick from every slot

The all-time NBA draft — the best pick from every slot

There’s a definitive answer every year to the question of who is No. 1 in the NBA draft. But who is the No. 1 pick of all No. 1 draft picks ever? Or No. 1 among the list of No. 2 draft picks? Those are questions that have no definitive answer, except...
Updated: 2 hours ago
WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

Mike Piper has traveled to Las Vegas and Miami and enjoyed the fun, daytime, party pool scene that the two cities have to offer.Now he aims to bring that same atmosphere to Tampa with a new dining and hang out spot. WTR Pool & Grill opened on Sunday ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

A new resale store has made its way to South Tampa. Grace Family Church recently opened Vintage Etc., to provide affordable, quality merchandise to the community and continue its outreach to help families in need in a loving Christian environment. "W...
Updated: 2 hours ago
2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

Summer has officially started and so have summer travel plans. About 2.4 million Floridians are expected to travel for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, up 6.3 percent from last year, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group."We are already seeing a b...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison will build a new subdivision off of Boyette Road between Wesley Chapel Boulevard and Overpass Road.The builder and developer recently broke ground on Chapel Chase, set on approximately 40 acres just north of New Tampa in Pasco County....
Updated: 3 hours ago
Top 5 at noon: Is Chronister the right man at the right time?; Luke Bryan chats ahead of his Tampa show; and more

Top 5 at noon: Is Chronister the right man at the right time?; Luke Bryan chats ahead of his Tampa show; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.NEW SHERIFF WON OVER THOSE IN POWER. THE VOTERS? THEY DON’T GET A SAYRepublican Chad Chronister was appointed Hillsborough’s top cop after 26 years with the office. Is he the right man at the ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain & Berry Cafe opened in Palm Harbor, and now the healthy eatery is rapidly expanding throughout the Tampa Bay area.The healthy eatery opened a new location on E Fowler Ave near the University of South Florida in May, just 10 months after opening...
Updated: 3 hours ago