Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Proposed reprimand of East Lake library director still unresolved after five months

PALM HARBOR — East Lake Community Library director Patricia Perez will have to wait another month to find out if she's going to be reprimanded.

An email problem prevented the Palm Harbor Community Services Agency from discussing the issue as planned at its meeting Wednesday.

The issue has been on the table since last October, when then-PHCSA chairwoman Marguerite Smirlis asked board members to move forward with a reprimand. She said Perez had not shown PHCSA "the levels of cooperation, cohesion and teamwork'' necessary for the agency and the library to work together.

A backlash from Perez's supporters and the East Lake Community Library Advisory Board followed. For the last four months, the two sides have been debating the issue. Smirlis has since left the PHCSA board.

At the January meeting, Rex Haslam took over as chairman and said the decision about whether to reprimand Perez would be made after PHCSA and the library advisory board completed a performance review on Perez.

Sixty days later, time finally was scheduled at Wednesday's PHCSA meeting for open discussion of the review.

Although the advisory board turned in a performance review to PHCSA, the documents were not ready to be discussed at the meeting, Haslam announced.

He said that because of email glitches between him and Mary Mason, PHCSA's administrative coordinator, the topic would have to wait until next month's meeting.

"I want to have everything in front of us before we discuss this further,'' said Haslam. "So, it will have to wait one more month.''

Piper Castillo can be reached at (727) 445-4163 or [email protected] To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

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