Monday, June 18, 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
Pinellas protesters: Stop separating families at the border

Pinellas protesters: Stop separating families at the border

Protests were held on both ends of Pinellas County on Monday in opposition to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents as they seek asylum at the U.S. border."Children are not pawns," "No kids in cages" and "I would...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Deadly Sunday for swimmers in bay area waters

Two people drowned and another suffered life-threatening injuries in the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.Investigators said all three cases appear to be accidents, but the incidents stand as a reminder that summer, with vacation ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

Pinellas deputies arrest Mississippi man 31 years after sexual battery

SEMINOLE — She was 22 when deputies said a man forced her at knifepoint into the woods off Seminole Boulevard and sexually battered her in February 1987.The case went cold, but now the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested the man it ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

Iceland World Cup Fever … catch it!

TAMPA — Iceland isn't what it used to be. Literally. The Nordic island country is shrinking, what with global warming. Iceland's glaciers are getting smaller. If you took all that ice and laid it end to end, well, you clearly have nothing bette...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and drove off

TAMPA — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian on Sunday night and then drove off.The incident took place at 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of N Nebraska Avenue and E Linebaugh Avenue.No details a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg teen, seven months pregnant, dies in Pasco crash

St. Petersburg teen, seven months pregnant, dies in Pasco crash

HUDSON — A 16-year-old St. Petersburg teen who was seven months pregnant was fatally injured in a crash Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The incident took place at 9:11 p.m. on Little Road south of Hudson Avenue. The teen, Emily ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Mazzaro’s gets ready to reopen

Mazzaro’s gets ready to reopen

day after an electrical fire broke out in its dry goods warehouse Friday night.Dominic Horwath, a grocery manager at Mazzaro’s on 22nd Ave. N, said staffers spent Monday and the weekend moving things into other warehouses.The damage from the fire at ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

WashingtonPentagon suspends August drills with South KoreaThe Pentagon on Monday formally suspended a major military exercise planned for August with South Korea, a much-anticipated move stemming from President Donald Trump’s nuclear summit with Nort...
Updated: 3 hours ago