CLEARWATER - The first clue that something was awry came from media reports about less-than-satisfactory reviews given during an annual performance review.
Then Commission Chair Karen Seel removed the review of Pinellas County’s administrator from the April 15 meeting agenda and later replaced it.
The first item of business at that meeting was unanimous approval of Bob LaSala’s termination. Commissioner Norm Roche was not at the table during the vote.
Commission Chair Karen Seel began by asking if a commissioner would make a motion to terminate LaSala’s contract without cause. She said the contract called for a 90-day notice provision. She said during those 90 days, LaSala would report to her or her designee for assigned duties.
Commissioner Ken Welch made the motion. Commissioner Janet Long seconded it.
Welch thanked LaSala for his service.
“But I think this is an appropriate step forward,” he said.
LaSala thanked the commission for the opportunity to serve Pinellas County.
“It is with mixed emotions I leave my position as Pinellas County Administrator,” he said. “Please know that has been an honor to serve this community.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman David W. Jolly called on members of the U.S. House April 9 to support the Senate version of the recently-passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act that would extend the federal authorization of the 50-year ongoing renourishment project in Treasure Island.
“Like many of the infrastructure projects Congress takes on, our nation has made a long-term investment in the safety and prosperity of our Pinellas community through this project, and similar projects up and down the coastline,” Jolly said in a press release. “Stable beaches protect public and private infrastructure along our coastline, and the communities that call them home. Beach renourishment provides a flood buffer, which is vital for protecting both lives and property during severe storms and hurricanes.”
LARGO - Two members the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office graduated from the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute’s Leadership Academy April 11.
Sgt. Dennis Garvey, 37, is assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit and has worked at PCSO since Oct. 29, 2001. Sgt. Timothy Kelly, 40, works in the Economics Crime Unit and has worked for PCSO since Jan. 22, 2003.
The graduating class included 34 first-line supervisors, who serve in leadership roles within their agencies, representing criminal justice agencies from across the state.
CLEARWATER - The eight members of the Fiscal Team of the Administrative Office of the Courts for the Sixth Judicial Circuit were named as a team winner of a 2014 Prudential Financial-Davis Productivity Award, which recognizes state employees whose innovations significantly improves the delivery of state services and saves money for Florida’s taxpayers.
The annual statewide competition attracted 568 nominations for improvements worth an estimated $558 million in cost savings, cost avoidances and increased revenue for the state of Florida.
The local employees were one of just four court groups to be acknowledged around the state. They will be recognized at a regional awards ceremony June 13 in Tampa.
The team that earned the citation includes Budget Services Manager Rob Snyder, and fiscal assistants Tanja Fitzgerald, Mary Kris Lichtenberg, Inass Riyad and Justin Thom, all of whom work in Pinellas County courthouses; and Administrative Services Manager Stephanie LoBalbo, and fiscal assistants Chris Hover and Susan Vega, who work in courthouses in New Port Richey and Dade City.
SEMINOLE - U.S. Rep. David Jolly is hosting an open house on Thursday, April 17, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Seminole District Office located on the campus of St. Petersburg College, 9210 113th St., Seminole.
Refreshments will be served. RSVP is not necessary. For more information, call 392-4100.
Jolly announced that a second district office is now open at 425 22nd Ave. N., Suite 425 C in St. Petersburg. Call 823-8900.
“Our staff has done a remarkable job of resuming case work and answering the call to service every day we have been on the job, and we look forward to keeping an open dialogue with Pinellas residents to help guide us in our daily work,” Jolly said.
Alex Sink announced April 15 that she is not running for the 13 Congressional District seat in the 2014 election.
“I want to thank every voter, volunteer and donor for standing beside me these past months - we can all be proud of the strong campaign we ran, Sink said in a post on her Facebook page. “ While I will not seek election in 2014, I will continue our dialogue here so that we can continue to work together to find new ways to continue to find common ground, to promote problem solving and find commonsense solutions to our most pressing problems.”
CLEARWATER - Pinellas County Administrator Bob LaSala says results of a recent citizen’s survey show improved confidence in many areas.
Speaking at an April 8 work session, LaSala said the telephone survey was “very, very accurate” and provided “a very precise bit of feedback from our citizens.”
Sarah Lindemuth of HCP, a national research, strategy and marketing firm headquartered in Tampa, agreed, saying the 2014 results showed the highest percent of favorable responses on quality of life questions since the county implemented the use of an annual survey in 2011.
Eighteen individuals, ranging in age from 22 to 70, were arrested during a four-day operation conducted by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Clearwater Police Department and personnel from 10 supporting agencies.
“Operation Guardian” ran for 10-hour shifts from April 10-13 from an operation command center inside Clearwater PD, 645 Pierce St. Investigators, aka “chatters,” posed as minors at various websites looking for individuals trying to entice minors to meet for sex. The chatters used online classified pages, social media sites and various chat rooms.
Friday Morning Market
TREASURE ISLAND – The annual Friday Morning Market is underway at Treasure Island Community Park and will continue through early April. The event, which features a variety of vendors, is open each Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.
Holy Friday Procession TARPON SPRINGS – Easter weekend will begin on April 18 with the Holy Friday Procession, hosted by the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
The procession, which will begin at 8:45 p.m. and last until about 9:45 p.m,, will run along N. Pinellas Avenue, Orange Street, Ring Street and N. Tarpon Avenue, disrupting traffic on all of the roads beginning at 8 p.m.
Military officers meeting PINELLAS PARK – The St. Petersburg chapter of the Military Officers Association of America will meet for lunch Friday, April 18, at Banquet Masters, 8100 Park Blvd.
Social hour will start at 11 a.m., followed by lunch. The speaker will be Mike Fineo. Military Officers that are retired, active duty or former officers and their spouses or widows are invited to attend.
Overeaters Anonymous Amigos
ST. PETERSBURG – Overeaters Anonymous Amigos, a program of recovery for eating disorders, meets Fridays, 11 a.m., at Beacon House, 2151 Central Ave.
The newest Pinellas OA group features a bilingual message.
For information, call Margie C. at 828-9711. There are no dues or fees and a list of meetings may be viewed at oapinellas.org
Scottish American Society social gatherings Ceilidhs, traditional Gaelic social gatherings, are held every Friday night from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Scottish American Society of Dunedin, 917 Louden Ave., Dunedin.
The cost is $5 for nonmembers. The social club is dedicated to the preservation of Scottish culture, offering Scottish country dancing, line dancing, holiday dinners and parties.
VFW fish fry, bingo
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin-Palm Harbor VFW Post 2550 hosts a fish/shrimp fry every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at 360 Douglas Ave.
The post sponsors bingo each Wednesday and Friday. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Bingo starts at noon.
The public is invited. Call 733-6107.
Classic car show TIERRA VERDE – More than 100 cars will be on display Saturday, April 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the Tierra Verde Business Partnership plans its third annual Classic Car Show and Taste of Tierra Verde in the Tierra Verde business district at 1101 Pinellas Bayway S.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team.
The TVBP is made up of 75 local businesses and community groups. Its mission is to support and promote existing and new businesses on Tierra Verde.
Entry fee for the car show is $15 in advance and $20 day of the show. Cars for sale are $10 day of the show and vendor space is $25.
For more information on the car show, call 547-8082.
Document shredding ST. PETERSBURG – A post-tax season document shredding event will benefit the St. Petersburg Free Clinic. The event is set for Saturday, April 19, 10 a.m. to noon, at Cummings Financial Organization, 3637 Fourth St. N.
To get these services, people are asked to bring a donation of canned goods for use by the clinic.
Commercial shredding will not be accepted at this event, though monthly on-site pickup services are available separately through the Louise Graham Regeneration Center.