Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco seeks headhunter to find next county administrator

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County commissioners will hire a professional headhunter to help replace longtime County Administrator John Gallagher.

One reason is because a top candidate is someone they know very well: Michele Baker, Gallagher's chief assistant and a veteran of the county's staff.

A recruiter allows commissioners to "sort of step back a little bit," commission Chairman Ted Schrader said earlier this week. "It just clearly distances that (process) because Ms. Baker is going to be applying."

Besides inoculating commissioners from favoritism accusations, the move could also bring in new blood by using a firm with a record of finding well-qualified candidates.

Gallagher, who has held the post for 30 years, retires April 30. That means commissioners are on a tight deadline.

"Time is certainly of the essence," said purchasing director Scott Stromer, who said he could open the bidding process for prospective firms in the coming days.

Commissioners would likely pick a recruiting firm by January, with the goal of reviewing candidate profiles for semifinalists or finalists by early March. Schrader said Sarasota County recently went through a similar process and spent between $15,000 and $20,000.

The search also means commissioners must assess what they want in a new leader.

Gallagher said there are generally two types of county administrators: Those who are more community oriented and "a lot more vocal than I am publicly," or people "like me, who stick to the nuts and bolts of running the administration."

Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said she is interested in somebody with experience in public-private partnerships who has worked in a high-growth area.

The person might have private sector experience and would at least have a "pro-business" perspective.

Commissioner Henry Wilson hopes to land someone who has managed the kind of intense growth projected for Pasco over the next few decades.

"It needs to be a national search," he said. "We need somebody who's gone from 500,000 people to 1 million people in their government."

The person would need experience with economic development and redeveloping aging areas, said Commissioner Jack Mariano.

"Mr. Gallagher works on the nuts and bolts, but he can also sit down at the table and talk with (politicians and business leaders)," he said.

Commissioner Pat Mulieri said she wants an administrator with a bottom-up management style and someone who can "think outside the box."

"It's not your grandmother and grandfather's Pasco," she said.

Lee Logan can be reached at llogan@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6236.

Pasco seeks headhunter to find next county administrator 12/20/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 20, 2012 9:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum

    Hurricanes

    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  2. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar

    Blogs

    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.
  3. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

    Blogs

    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  4. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  5. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.