Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

Pinellas County commissioners give administrator top marks

For the second year in a row, Pinellas County Administrator Bob LaSala's seven bosses have given him high marks for his job performance.

LaSala's highest overall marks come in the area of integrity. Close behind were his marks for organization, planning and management. Both areas were rated good to excellent.

His lowest overall marks, though still high, came in helping county commissioners and other community stakeholders "identify, work toward and achieve common goals and objectives." His overall rating in that category was satisfactory to good.

LaSala, 62, took the $225,000-a-year job in fall 2008.

"I'm pleased to get positive feedback and constructive feedback,'' he said.

His highest individual marks came from former board chairwoman Susan Latvala and current chairman John Morroni.

Latvala rated LaSala as "excellent" in 21 of 24 categories. In those other three, she rated him as "good," the second highest rating on the 4-point scale.

Morroni, who is undergoing cancer treatment, also rated LaSala "excellent" in 21 categories.

But Ken Welch said he was "concerned" about LaSala's handling of proposed changes to the county's emergency medical services system. LaSala spent much of past year embroiled in a dispute with firefighters, fire chiefs, city officials and employees of the private company that provides ambulance service over the future of the system. The issue has not been resolved.

Welch said he believed LaSala blurred the lines between the job of the commission, which is to set policy, and the administrator's job, which is to enact that policy.

LaSala's lowest marks came from Norm Roche, who rated him "satisfactory" in all but five areas: expertise, technological literacy, the budgeting process, strategic planning and personal integrity. He rated LaSala "good" in those categories.

Roche did not comment on the form.

Commissioners are scheduled to discuss the evaluation at Tuesday's meeting.

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