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New Hernando administrator to sign contract, start May 21

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

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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 behrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.

New Hernando administrator to sign contract, start May 21 04/25/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 7:58pm]
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