Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kenneth City police chief's contract colors police review

KENNETH CITY — As council member Troy Campbell struggles with how to handle allegations of poor management in the Police Department, he's ever aware of a factor hanging over his head — Chief Doug Pasley's contract.

The three-year contract will automatically renew at the end of this year for another three years unless the Town Council votes by early July not to renew it. Although the penalty to Kenneth City for not renewing would be the same as a later vote to fire the chief — six months' pay plus accrued vacation and sick time (about $30,900 in salary and $5,200 in accrued sick and vacation pay as of April 30) — a decision not to renew would be a cleaner break than a decision to terminate during Pasley's second term. Campbell has said he wants to have answers and recommendations by that deadline.

"I really feel under the gun," Campbell said recently.

The fact that Pasley has a contract is not unusual. Chiefs from two of the county's four biggest cities — Largo and Clearwater — also have them.

Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne said his city has had contracts with all of its senior administrators at least since the late 1990s when he took over. The contract can be a good thing, he said, to protect both sides if a relationship goes sour. And, he said, it's the professional thing to do.

The agreement can be tailored to the situation so that every one is a little different.

Clearwater police Chief Anthony Holloway's contract specifically states that "nothing in this employment agreement letter shall be construed to establish a fixed time or fixed term of appointment."

Pasley's contract, on the other hand, provides for a term of office. It gives him a three-year term that's automatically renewed for another three unless the council tells him otherwise in writing at least 120 days before the Nov. 12 renewal date.

Not all cities agree that a contract is the way to go when hiring a chief.

St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park — the largest and fourth-largest municipalities in the county — do not have contracts with their chiefs.

"I'm fine, I'm fine with that," Pinellas Park police Chief Dorene Thomas said. Thomas was promoted from within the department and had about 20 years in the Pinellas Park system when she was appointed in October 2000. The department was in turmoil, generally a touchy time to take over leadership. But the idea of a contract never arose.

"I knew what I had here; maybe that's the difference," Thomas said. "It's almost like a good-faith situation. They're trusting me to do the right thing, and I'm trusting that I'll have a job when I come in tomorrow."

If she went somewhere else, would she want a contract? Perhaps.

"If you're coming from the outside, maybe that's the difference. I don't know," she said.

Although Horne said he believes in contracts, he said the Legislature had its reservations in this past session by passing new rules that affect some provisions. One of those is limiting the severance package.

"They didn't question having contracts," Horne said. "They questioned how generous you are in providing certain types of benefits."

Reach Anne Lindberg at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

Kenneth City police chief's contract colors police review 05/21/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 21, 2011 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police seek suspect who critically wounded Pinellas Park bicyclist

    Crime

    PINELLAS PARK — A Pinellas Park man was critically injured Monday night after he was shot while riding his bicycle.

  2. Pasco considers new tax districts for parks, libraries, public safety

    Local Government

    DADE CITY — Faced with growing costs amid an expected voter-endorsed tax cut, Pasco County is considering changing the way it pays for parks, libraries and public safety.

    
Pasco County is considering a new taxing district to finance an expansion and ongoing operations of the county's Department of Parks,Recreaton and Natural Resources. Shown is the Dick's Tournament of Champions at the the  Wesley Chapel District Park, the last district park developed by the county. It opened in 2007.
  3. Ruskin man sought in fatal stabbing of roommate

    Crime

    RUSKIN — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has issued an arrest warrant for the suspect who fatally stabbed his roommate in a Ruskin home on Monday afternoon.

    Angel Calix, shown during a June 2016 arrest, is wanted in the fatal stabbing of a Ruskin man on Oct. 23, 2017. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Romano: Why flood insurance might not be enough to save your home

    Local Government

    Irma is gone, and Maria never came.

    And yet this is as good a time as any to worry.

  5. Tampa's streetcar system looks to expand north through downtown

    Transportation

    TAMPA — The TECO Line Streetcar system that runs from Ybor City to the Channel District could be extended north through downtown all the way to Tampa Heights, according to the latest update of a $1.7 million study aimed at expanding the streetcar system.

    Riders take in the last few stops of the streetcar route in Ybor City during the tenth anniversary celebration of the TECO line streetcar system in Tampa in 2012. Now officials are looking for ways to expand the service north through downtown to Tampa Heights. [EVE EDELHEIT  |  Times]