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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Two managers make exits

Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:59 PM

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Last month, the county announced Liana Teague would no longer be manager of the county's animal services department.

Her supervisor, Public Safety Director Michael Nickerson, said he hoped to replace Teague with someone skilled in animal behavior, preferably a veterinarian.

Instead, Teague continued with the county in her other role as manager of the code enforcement department.

But now, following the reshuffling of code enforcement, Teague has chosen not to remain manager there and instead applied for and got the open position as a code enforcement officer at the county landfill.

Director of Administrative Services Cheryl Marsden said Teague starts her new duties Monday.

Marsden said Teague's new position is non-supervisory. Per her contract, she will take a 10 percent pay cut: from $54,100 to $48,690. The current employee in that position who is leaving makes $47,091.

Nickerson said Tuesday he will ask county commissioners at their Sept. 25 meeting for permission to hire a temporary manager-veterinarian to fill the position until someone permanent is found.

The county's human resources department is working on a formal job description and salary range, Nickerson said.

Animal Services has been rocked by controversy since the same-day euthanasia of Zeus, a pit bull mix.

That led to a county audit and several recommendations to improve efficiency.

"This position became available awhile back and I just decided to apply for it," Teague said. "It was something in the best interests of my family."

Teague said when the decision was made to split code enforcement and animal services, she opted to stay with the latter in some form or another, despite the pay cut.

"When you're looking at jobs, money is only one factor," Teague said.

The county audit absolved Teague from any major blame from the pit bull controversy and other concerns.

Teague said she bears no ill will toward anyone during that period of uncertainty.

In her new job, Teague will be responsible for solid waste-related violations, including illegal dumping and trash left at the curb.

Meanwhile, another high-ranking county official — Guangye Hu, who manages the mosquito control department — has decided to resign.

Director of Environmental Services Susan Goebel-Canning said Hu submitted his resignation last week and is planning a move with his family to California.

Hu was hired in March 1999 and made $71,548 annually. His last day on the job will be Sept. 20.

His position may not be filled, County Commissioner Dave Russell said Tuesday.

In his resignation letter, Hu said he quit due to a family reason.

"It was a very hard decision for me since I have enjoyed working for Hernando County for over 13 years(s) and have built so many friendships," Hu wrote. "I would like to thank you for your leadership, guidance, advice and support."

This November, voters will decide by referendum if they want to fund mosquito control through money raised from sensitive lands tax money. (352) 544-5290

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