Sunday, Jan 25, 2015

Four public staffers leaving

Hernando Today


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BROOKSVILLE - Hernando County will be losing four key employees during the next few months, taking with them a large chunk of institutional knowledge with them.

And there is the possibility that one or more of the positions will go either unfilled or duties reassigned.

The moves coincide with the possibility of stricter educational requirements for any new hires in county government.

Community Relations Coordinator Brenda Frazier's last day is Sept. 30. Frazier has been with the County since March 1976, making her the longest-serving official with Hernando County.

Jesse Goodwin, assistant utilities director-water and sewer division, was hired in June 1982. he will be leaving effective July 5.

Airport Manager Don Silvernell, who began his duties 13 years ago, is retiring and moving to Boise, Idaho, to be closer to his granddaughter.

And only this week, came news that the county's building official, Frank Baxter, will call it quits July 5. Baxter hired on with Hernando County Aug. 1, 2011.

Silvernell's position has already been replaced by Kevin Daugherty, who is finalizing an agreement to move here from his role as manager of the Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland.

Hernando County also will be shedding about $311,000 in salaries when all four leave.

County Commissioner Jim Adkins said he talked with County Administrator Len Sossamon on Thursday about possibly not replacing one or more of these positions and possibly combining duties to possibly save the county money.

Commissioner Nick Nicholson said he had not heard about Baxter's leaving but believes all four positions - with the possible exception of the community relations post - will have to be filled.

Nicholson said he also believes that future hires should have the proper educational credentials for the job.

Director of Administrative Services Cheryl Marsden said she discussed with Sossamon and the county's assistant administrator about the possibility for future hires to have "consistent education-experience requirements."

Sossamon wanted to know the background of current managers and directors before deciding whether to implement any procedure and nothing has been decided, Marsden said in an email.

For managers, they discussed having an associate's degree and five to nine years of experience or a bachelor's degree and two to five years experience. Of the current managers, only six meet that requirement, according to Marsden.

Two have their bachelor's degrees but only one year of manager experience. And four only have their high school diplomas, one of whom is Silvernell.

The new airport manager, Daugherty, and the soon-to-be named engineering manager would meet the proposed educational criteria.

For directors, the discussion focused on people having a bachelor's degree and five years of experience or a master's degree and two to five years experience.

Currently, the county has two directors who would not meet the years of experience requirement but have the degree. Two directors don't meet the degree requirement but one is working on getting his bachelor's.

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