Wednesday, December 13, 2017
News Roundup

Kenneth City's first town manager will earn $81,000 annually

KENNETH CITY — Town Council members have settled on the details concerning the pay and benefits their first town manager will receive.

It is expected that Matt Campbell, 42, of Crystal Beach will accept the package worked out in negotiations with Mayor Teresa Zemaitis before coming to the council for approval on Wednesday. Provided Campbell still agrees, he is expected to begin work no later than March 3. He will be paid $81,000 a year and will have access to a car while working but it will not be a take-home vehicle. It is unclear what the total package is worth. Officials had not computed the cost.

Although the final decisions were unanimous, not all council members were happy with the package. Joanne DeSimone said she thought the salary was too steep considering that this will be Campbell's first job as manager and that he is currently unemployed. Campbell was assistant to the city manager of Dunedin from September 2010 through last November. He was earning $65,000 a year for that job.

DeSimone said Kenneth City should have offered him a salary closer to the bottom of the $75,000 to $85,000 pay scale set by the council for the position. Offering him something at the low end of the scale, she said, would still give him a "nice increase."

She pointed out that the town had budgeted $82,000 for the job and that Campbell had asked for $81,000.

"Wasn't it interesting that he came up with 81?" she asked.

But the other four council members overruled her, saying that they wanted the process to be pleasant for all and to start out on a good footing.

"In a gesture of good will . . . not to be bickering over money," council member Adam Mayefsky said. This is a "positive moment for us. ... It's going to be wonderful."

Zemaitis backed him up, saying Campbell had yielded during negotiations on some other demands.

"I would like to see this on a positive note," the mayor said. "I'm not saying we give him the moon and the stars."

Council member Phil Redisch stopped the debate by saying, "I think a unanimous agreement by the council now is in order."

Council members also agreed to spend up to $4,000 for a desk, credenza and other office furniture and up to $1,500 for a computer and necessary software for the manager.

DeSimone was not the only one with concerns. After the meeting, Kenneth City police Chief Mike Rossi could be heard talking to citizens, commenting that he had received complaints from the council, notably Mayor Zemaitis, when he bought himself a desk for about $1,100 but the desk for the city manager is estimated to cost about $1,400.

The argument over spending about $3,000 for three desks for the Police Department consumed much of the summer. Zemaitis, who, as chief financial officer, oversees the purchasing, had criticized Rossi mostly for the chief's failure to follow proper procedures when buying the desks. The council overrode her concerns and the department was allowed to keep the desks.

Immediate oversight of purchases will become one of the manager's duties when he takes over, although the council will still have say-so regarding large purchases.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450. Follow @alindbergtimes on Twitter.

Comments
Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

BROOKSVILLE — The new year could bring about new beginnings for at-risk girls in Hernando County.Pending a vote by the School Board next month, PACE Center for Girls, an alternative education program for middle- and high-school students, could open a...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

Hometown Hernando for Dec. 15

We want your news!Hometown Hernando is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well done. Y...
Updated: 16 minutes ago

Hernando Government Meetings for Dec. 15

Here is a listing of public meetings scheduled for this week:MondayBrooksville City Council, 7 p.m., council chambers, City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville.TuesdayBrooksville Housing Authority Board Meeting, 5 p.m. council chambers, City Hall, 201...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Pinellas sheriff to announce findings of excessive force investigation

Pinellas sheriff to announce findings of excessive force investigation

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri will announce Wednesday the findings of an internal investigation sparked by dashboard camera video that appears to show deputies beating, choking and yanking the hair of a 25-year-old man during an arrest.Gualti...
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Hernando briefs for Dec. 15

COUNTYWIDEDriver safety programAARP Driver Safety Program classes are available at various locations. The cost for each six-hour course is $15 for AARP members (bring membership card) and $20 for non-members. These classes are scheduled in January:• ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago

St. Petersburg police make several arrests in death of woman, 22, found in alley

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have made a series of arrests in connection to the death investigation of a 22-year-old woman whose body was found in alley last December.Investigators said over the course of the last year they learned that the woman, Taylor ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago

Hernando Bloodmobile for Dec. 15

LifeSouth Community Blood Center will have blood drives at the following off-site locations during the coming week.Dec. 15: 7:30 a.m. to 2:10 p.m., Nature Coast Technical High School, 4057 California St., south of Brooksville; 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Her...
Updated: 26 minutes ago

Hernando Business Digest for Dec. 15

EventsDISCOUNT OFFERED TO THOSE WHO DONATE TO HELP HOMELESS: In advance of National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, BonWorth clothing store, 12987 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill, will offer a 10 percent discount on purchases to those who donate unwanted c...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Greg Auman has an update in his latest podcast while the Bucs have two days off during the long week,Riley Bullough gets promoted to the active roster, Gerald McCoy says he still wants to play this season, and the defensive line gives 75 local famili...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Target aims to boost same-day delivery by acquiring Shipt

Target aims to boost same-day delivery by acquiring Shipt

NEW YORK — Target plans to boost its same-day delivery capability by paying $550 million for Shipt, its latest move to try to catch up with Amazon. Shipt delivers groceries to its members, who pay $99 a year. Target says it will add more products to...
Updated: 1 hour ago