The county has shuffled the assistant administrator deck and reassigned job duties to two managers.
George Zoettlein has a new title: assistant county administrator of budget and business development, and will take over some of the duties formerly handled by Ron Pianta.
Besides being the lead man for department budgets, Zoettlein will be responsible for all the Office of Business and Management (his usual department), Business Development (overseeing Economic Development Manager Mike McHugh), Airport Operations and Tourist Development.
Meanwhile, Pianta will keep his current title of Assistant County Administrator for Planning and Zoning, and will oversee all P&Z departments, mass transit, building, zoning, code enforcement, permitting, library services, health and human services, veterans services, county extension and housing authority.
Pianta was relieved of dealing with the airport and office of business development.
County Administrator Len Sossamon said it was thought that the reorganization of duties for each man was a better fit for the organization.
Also, there could be a perceived conflict of interest if Pianta oversees airport operations and business development because his wife, Valerie Pianta, is the program coordinator for the Office of Business Development.
County Administrator Len Sossamon in February targeted four assistants to help him oversee Hernando County government.
The other two assistant administrators are Chief Procurement Officer Russ Wetherington and Director of Transportation Services Brian Malmberg, whose responsibilities will not change.
Wetherington oversees general services, which includes human resources, workers' compensation, technology services, communications, purchasing and contracts, central fuel department, vehicle maintenance, facilities maintenance and parks and recreation.
Malmberg oversees operations, which includes the department of public works, county engineer, public safety, fire and rescue, animal services, utilities, water, sewer and solid waste.
County Commissioner Nick Nicholson said he supports the duty shuffling if it eliminates any perception of a conflict and it facilitates the process.
Nicholson said he would like to see all four assistant administrators cross-train and learn the ins and outs of each department so that when it comes time for a new administrator, Hernando County would have one or more at-hand and up to speed.
“I think the citizens are tired of the revolving door of administrators and there is no one ever ready to step up to the plate,” Nicholson said.
In related news:
Sossamon said he continues to put the finishing touches on his long-range strategic plan for Hernando County.
Once completed, the plan will provide a blueprint for growth and answer three basic questions: Where is Hernando County right now, where is it going and how does it get there?