Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando environmental services director leaving for job in Minnesota

Joe Stapf was known for being plainspoken with officials. His exact departing date has not been announced.

Times files (2008)

Joe Stapf was known for being plainspoken with officials. His exact departing date has not been announced.

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County's environmental services director is heading back to his hometown in Northfield, Minn.

The Northfield City Council voted Tuesday night to hire Joe Stapf as the city's public works director and city engineer. He starts the new job later this month.

"This gives me a chance to move back to my roots, which is something I never anticipated I would get to do,'' Stapf said Wednesday.

Stapf, 61, came to Hernando County in January 2008, filling the spot left vacant by the death of Kay Adams a year earlier.

He had retired as utilities director for the city of Wyoming, Mich., before his move to Florida.

During his stay in Hernando, Stapf earned a reputation for his candor, once saying to the County Commission that he wasn't there to tell them what they wanted to hear.

Earlier this year, he challenged the board to properly fund mosquito control or simply stop offering the service. Earlier in his tenure, he suggested raising the solid waste fee to pay for the services customers had come to expect.

When the commission shot him down, he accomplished a major downsizing of the utilities staff, dropping the hours of some services and recommending the privatization of recycling services.

Stapf oversaw completion of a new cell at the county's landfill and several big-ticket water and sewer projects. He helped implement a graduated water and sewer fee system that penalizes people for using larger quantities of water, and he led the county through a new franchise agreement for hauling garbage.

He said he is pleased to have begun the consolidation of wastewater treatment plants and with progress made on a water reuse system — and the fact that the county was able to secure low-interest loans for such expensive projects through the state's revolving trust fund.

Also during his tenure, Stapf has had to weather a storm of controversy over racism among his employees and another dust-up over deep divisions concerning a union shop steward at the department's Wiscon Road facility.

Stapf said he was honored to be considered for a job back in the town where he was born and will enjoy being close to his extended family and old friends. He had lived in Minnesota until 1975.

While he said one of the most difficult things he ever had to do was write his letter of resignation after 30 years in Wyoming, Mich., "it's amazing to me that after just four years, I have very similar feelings about Hernando County.

"I'm going to miss the people in my department tremendously," he said.

Stapf's current salary with benefits is $114,730.22. His cash-out of unused leave time will be about $258.

County Administrator David Hamilton briefed the commission when Stapf was selected as a finalist for the Minnesota job. He has already been working on a transition plan.

Stapf will be the second member to leave Hamilton's leadership team in the past week. Community Development Director Jean Rags announced her plans to retire in order to care for her ailing mother. She will depart later this month.

Stapf's last day has not yet been determined.

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

Hernando environmental services director leaving for job in Minnesota 10/05/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 6:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  2. The topic will be neighborhoods as Kriseman, Baker debate one more time


    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker will face off, possibly for the last time before the Nov. 7 election, in a candidate forum on Wednesday hosted by the influential Council of Neighborhood Associations.

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, left, and former Mayor Rick Baker during a September forum. The two will will face off, possibly for the last time before the Nov. 7 election, during  a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Sunshine Center, 330 5th St. N. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  3. The upcoming Han Solo movie is called ... 'Solo'


    I hope you know what you're doing, Star Wars.

  4. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims


    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]
  5. Pasco delays Irma food distribution after problems elsewhere

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Pasco County has pulled the plug on a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O'Lakes Recreation Center that had been scheduled to open to the public on Sunday.

    Pasco County has postponed a planned Food for Florida distribution at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center on Collier Parkway and is seeking an alternative site. Last week, commissioners said they feared a repeat of the long lines of traffic that appeared outside Plant City Stadium on Oct. 9. The nutrition program for people affected by Hurricane Irma had been scheduled to come to Land O' Lakes Oct. 18 to 27.  [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]