Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Pasco starting search for new county administrator

NEW PORT RICHEY — County commissioners began hunting this week for a new county administrator after formally acknowledging that John Gallagher will retire in April.

They're moving very deliberately. After all, commissioners and staffers aren't exactly familiar with the process.

"We haven't done this in 30 years," said personnel director Barbara DeSimone. "It was the early '80s when we last recruited a county administrator, so I'm looking for some guidance."

Gallagher added: "You're going through the process that I went through 30 years ago of selecting a team to actually run the county."

There are a few options for finding Gallagher's successor. The county could hire a formal recruiter to advertise the position, review resumes and conduct background checks. That could cost between $22,000 and $42,000.

The county could also rely on a three-member panel of retired administrators from across Florida known as "Range Riders." They would review applicants and provide commissioners with a short list based on their goals. That service is free.

Gallagher said he expects Pasco will receive up to 150 applications. That list would initially be cut to 10 or 20, and commissioners would select a handful of candidates to interview. The applications, as well as deliberations about the selection, would be open to the public.

"Any meeting you have to discuss the future county administrator is going to have to be in the sunshine," chief assistant county attorney David Goldstein told commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday.

Several commissioners said they are leaning toward the Range Rider program to save money and give themselves greater control over the process.

"I do not want to hire a headhunter," said Commissioner Henry Wilson.

But Commissioner Kathryn Starkey said she wants to consider candidates from areas, including Charlotte and Austin, with vibrant economies.

"What I didn't like about the Range Riders is they're all from Florida and I wanted a bigger perspective," she said. She is concerned that approach would limit potential applicants, while a recruiter could help lure a top candidate.

"I don't want to wait to see who wants to come here," she said. "I want us to define what we want and go out and find that person."

Commission Chairman Ted Schrader suggested that the commission mull the options until their next meeting.

"Mr. Gallagher's been here for 30 years and we've been talking about this for five or 10 minutes," he said. "Let's don't make a hasty decision today."

Lee Logan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6236.

Comments
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Official: Shotgun in guitar case was used in school shooting

Official: Shotgun in guitar case was used in school shooting

FORT LAUDERDALE — A gunman who carried a shotgun in a guitar case opened fire Friday in a Florida high school, wounding one student before he was arrested on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence, authorities said. It...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Woman says Hernando County commissioner kept her as a ‘sex slave’

Woman says Hernando County commissioner kept her as a ‘sex slave’

Whatever he wanted, I had to do."PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Hernando County commissioner arrested on prostitution chargesThe commissioner faces charges of operating a location for prostitution and two counts of purchasing services from a person engaged in p...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

LARGO — Most people agree what the Largo detectives did at the funeral home was legal.What they diverge on is whether it was appropriate."I just felt so disrespected and violated," said Victoria Armstrong, whose fiance, Linus F. Phillip., was shot an...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

TAMPA — The NFL draft is one big game of Liar's Poker. Deal me out.Even the guys with a seat at the table don't know when someone is bluffing.Bucs general manager Jason Licht knows that the team's No. 7 overall pick this year will be affected b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Parents sue Tampa football league, former coach accused of lewd conduct

Parents sue Tampa football league, former coach accused of lewd conduct

The parents of two teens have filed a lawsuit against the Tampa Bay Youth Football League and the man accused of harassing and molesting them while he was their coach.The parents say the organization and Davarius Durham were negligent and caused phys...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington stood outside St. Petersburg High School on Tuesday morning with parents and protesters who had gathered with bullhorns and signs. In a few minutes they would lead about 70 students on a walk to City Hall, joining ot...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Eakins: New ‘achievement zone’ would lift struggling schools

Eakins: New ‘achievement zone’ would lift struggling schools

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins is preparing to reorganize his cabinet — for the third time since 2015 — in an effort to coordinate programs at the district’s highest-needs schools.In an interview this week, Eakins descr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Woman attacks door of special needs bus with kids inside, curses at driver, deputies say

Woman attacks door of special needs bus with kids inside, curses at driver, deputies say

TAMPA — In an apparent fit of anger, a woman banged on a special needs bus door until it cracked. Children were inside and may have heard the string of profanities she shouted at the bus driver, deputies said.Now they want her to pay $250 in damages....
Updated: 1 hour ago