Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

New Hernando administrator to sign contract, start May 21

BROOKSVILLE — Len Sossamon was ready to sign on the dotted line Wednesday.

Chosen this month by the Hernando County Commission as the county's next administrator, the Concord, N.C., resident was simply waiting for his copy of the contract to arrive.

Commission Chairman Wayne Dukes negotiated the five-year pact, which sets Sossamon's pay at $125,000 a year, $10,000 less than his predecessor, David Hamilton.

Sossamon's background includes stints as city manager in Concord, county administrator in Newberry County, S.C., and work as a private developer. He is 61.

At Tuesday's commission meeting, Dukes announced that he anticipated having the signed contract in hand by the commission's May 8 meeting, when the employment agreement likely will be finalized.

Sossamon will begin work in Hernando on May 21.

Dukes indicated on Tuesday that one of Sossamon's first tasks might be to sort out the controversy over the quick euthanasia of a dog named Zeus at Animal Services. Sossamon said he watched this week's lengthy public discussion on the Internet to familiarize himself with the issue.

He said he wasn't ready to comment on the issue.

"I want to see what the investigation uncovers so that I can sit down to try to strategize which direction to take,'' he said in a phone interview.

Sossamon said he also figured that budget issues would be among the first other topics on his agenda when he arrives.

Taking into consideration Hernando County's reputation for tough-to-solve issues, he said he was preparing for the job by "running a lot and power lifting.

"I understand you have to be light on your feet, you've got to be fast, and I've heard there is some heavy lifting on this job,'' he said.

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

Comments
Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Twenty-five years ago, I was a reporter at WTSP-TV, out in the field covering Tampa Bay’s Independence Day celebrations. I expected an easy assignment talking about families and fireworks. Then the newsroom called with an urgent message: I needed to ...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Developer proposes specialty grocery for Land O’Lakes

Developer proposes specialty grocery for Land O’Lakes

LAND O’LAKES – A Sarasota developer is proposing to turn a vacant Winn-Dixie store in central Pasco into a Sprouts Farmers Market or similar specialty grocer.Benderson Development filed preliminary plans Monday with Pasco County to redevelop the form...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lawsuit against St. Pete alleges racial motivation in water official’s departure

Lawsuit against St. Pete alleges racial motivation in water official’s departure

ST. PETERSBURG — A former top ranking official in the city’s Water Resources Department is suing the city over his departure, claiming it was racially motivated.Dwight Wilson, the department’s former assistant director, says in the June 12 lawsuit th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a threat against St. Pete Pride weekend based on a social media comment left on a Tampa Bay Times story.A Facebook commenter used an alias to post the threat on a story about a pop-up gay club planned for the...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Growing up, Kevin Knox II watched videos or listened to motivational tapes during car rides to and from school so he could learn how to expand upon answers in interviews.That was all by design.His father, Kevin Knox Sr., knew about the spotlight as a...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago