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East County Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020 3 months ago

Manatee commissioners have tense exchange over administrator’s performance review

Commissioner Carol Whitmore says she knows of a move to replace Administrator Cheri Coryea.
by: Brendan Lavell Staff Writer

Manatee County commissioners Vanessa Baugh and Carol Whitmore engaged in a tense exchange Tuesday after the commission discussed Administrator Cheri Coryea's annual performance evaluation.

After Coryea's evaluation was read, a motion to modify Coryea’s contract and adjust it to raise the number of unused vacation hours she is allowed to carry over from year to year passed 4-2. Baugh and Stephen Jonsson dissented. Coryea said she was not seeking a pay raise.

Coryea received an average score of 3.49 across 10 categories after adjusting the evaluation system numerically on a scale of 1 (unacceptable) to 4 (exceeds expectations). She received one rating of "needs improvement" in six categories, one rating of "unacceptable" in one category and one "no answer" in one category.

Baugh did not submit a written evaluation of Coryea. Baugh said she preferred to discuss her thoughts with Coryea in a personal conversation.

"There are people in this community who don't want Cheri in this position," Whitmore said. "I heard it during the election cycle. People trying to get other people in this job. Cheri's worked her butt off for Manatee County. ... We all know what's going on. It's just not being said publicly. I know for a 100% fact this is what's going on. And I just want to know, has Cheri done a bad job? Has Cheri missed any work since she's been here?"

"Commissioner Whitmore, you seem to think you know a lot," Baugh replied. "You don't know what I'm thinking or why I'm thinking it. So I don't particularly care for your accusations, because they are off base. No one has asked me to do anything. I do what I feel is the right thing to do for the citizens of this county. So please, you make your votes. I'll make mine."

Three new commissioners take their seats Nov. 17.



Brendan Lavell is a general assignment reporter for the Observer. He earned degrees in journalism and history at the University of Missouri. He has visited 48 of the 50 United States, has a black cat named Arya and roots for the Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, 76ers and Chelsea FC.

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