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Sarasota Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 5 years ago

Labels up in the air

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Sarasota County has been operating for several months with five of its 13 directors holding an interim title.

In December, then interim County Administrator Terry Lewis and Deputy County Administrator Bill Little said they wanted newly hired County Administrator Randall Reid to decide on the future of those positions.

Reid’s first day was Jan. 23, but no changes have taken place regarding the interim titles.

Neither Reid nor interim Human Resources Director Joanie Whitley returned calls Monday or Tuesday from the Pelican Press, seeking an update on the situation.

Along with Whitley, the following directors continue to have the “interim” designation attached to their titles:

• Community Services Interim Executive Director John McCarthy

• Communications Interim Director Crystal Pruitt

• Interim Chief Financial Planning Officer Steve Botelho

• Interim Fire Chief and Public Safety Director Mike Tobias

In a Dec. 20 email to the Sarasota County Commission, Lewis wrote that the county’s organizational flow chart was being updated to reflect the interim positions.

“It is worth noting that there are currently interim directors and each is performing at a very high level,” Lewis said. “This will allow the new administrator to look at several options, including the opportunity to reduce executive-level positions.”

According to staff communications, Reid is continuing to evaluate his employees, including all the directors.

In a Feb. 6 email to county staff, Reid explained he is “focusing on listening, learning, assessing, contributing and directing as I understand better our organizational needs and strategic issues.”

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