Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Spokesman Len Ciecieznski, the 'voice of Pinellas County,' dies at 64

Len Ciecieznski had worked in advertising before joining Pinellas County government. 

Len Ciecieznski had worked in advertising before joining Pinellas County government. 

CLEARWATER — If you own a television and have called Pinellas County home for at least a year, you have probably seen Len Ciecieznski on the county's public access channel. He was the smooth-voiced narrator hosting shows like Inside Pinellas, which informed viewers on safety, transportation and the environment; deconstructed property taxes and EMS funding; or put out shorter clips on volunteer programs or honors for county workers with a professional's touch.

For many years, anyone who called the county and wound up on hold heard Mr. Ciecieznski's voice assuring them someone would address their concerns shortly.

If you got a job at the county seat in Clearwater, he was the first person to greet you.

Now, that presence has gone. Mr. Ciecieznski, known to colleagues as the "voice of Pinellas County," died Friday of pancreatic cancer. He was 64.

From 1996 until his retirement in April, the senior public information specialist was the county's most visible go-between linking residents with their local government. He found it far more exciting than any of his advertising jobs in earlier years, including a two-year hitch in the late 1970s supervising advertising copy writers in an office tucked into the shadows behind Cinderella's Castle in Walt Disney World.

"(Disney World bosses) have tight rules you've got to follow," said Mr. Ciecieznski's brother, Robert Ciecieznski, 73. "He felt like his creative juices weren't being used enough."

Perhaps just as important, joining the county meant returning to the area where he grew up. Mr. Len Ciecieznski had fished in Tampa Bay and roamed its woods. He told the stories to relatives, casting even the summers before air conditioning in a romantic glow.

After he joined the county's communications staff, he remained a student, always delving deeper and learning more.

"He was great at breaking down tough issues," said Tim Closterman, the county's communications director. "It didn't matter if he was talking to a condo association or a group of Pinellas Citizen University students. He could take the issue and explain it."

When four hurricanes posed danger to Pinellas in 2004, Mr. Ciecieznski remained calm and steady, doling out critical information as it came in.

Mr. Ciecieznski also had no trouble letting his guard down.

"Len was always the professional, always very well prepared," said Commissioner John Morroni, who appeared on several county videos Mr. Ciecieznski produced.

At times, the commissioner had trouble saying his lines correctly, requiring another take. "I would not be able to do it right and I would start laughing," Morroni said. "I would take a look at Len and he'd start laughing. Then we'd get it right."

Lennard Mark Ciecieznski was born in Nutley, N.J., in 1950. The family moved to St. Petersburg in 1954. He endured tragedy twice.

His father, Sigmund Ciecieznski, fell from a scaffold while painting a building and died. A sister, Judith Lingl, was paralyzed in a car accident and died years later.

Mr. Len Ciecieznski graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in advertising. In addition to Disney World, he worked for a Tampa advertising agency, radio stations in Rochester, N.Y., and Pittsburgh and Paxson Communications in Miami, winning several awards for his commercials.

He was married twice but had been single the last 18 years, his brother said.

Years ago, he enjoyed diving at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in the Florida Keys and in Florida's springs.

"Then (work) got busy," his brother said.

He was a fan of reality shows, including Survivor and The Amazing Race, debriefing episodes he had watched with a niece, Natalie Ciecieznski.

Mr. Ciecieznski learned he had inoperable pancreatic cancer in November. Upon his retirement, Pinellas County dedicated his broadcasting base, Studio A, in his honor. It is now known as the Len Ciecieznski Studio.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at or (727) 892-2248.


Lennard Mark Ciecieznski

Born: Jan. 18, 1950

Died: June 13, 2014

Survivors: mother, Helen Ciecieznski; brother, Robert Ciecieznski; extended family.

Memorial service: 1 p.m. today; Garden Sanctuary Funeral Home, 7950 131st St. N, Seminole.

Spokesman Len Ciecieznski, the 'voice of Pinellas County,' dies at 64 06/17/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Evening update: Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic, second wave follows


    UPDATE: At 8 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  2. Trump 'beautiful statues' tweets roil Tampa Bay's own Confederate debate


    It started Thursday at 9:07 a.m., as it does so often these days, with a tweet:

    The Memoria in Aeterna Confederate monument stands in front of the old Hillsborough County Courthouse. Hillsborough County Commissioners voted 4-2 last month to move it to a private cemetery in Brandon before voting again this week to put a deadline on a public sector fundraising campaign to pay part of the cost. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  4. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona


    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand


    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]