Comm. Says Vote to Extend Admin’s Contract “…an outrageous attack on Hernando Citizens”
HERNANDO – If you are a resident of Hernando County and care about how your tax dollars are spent, you might want to follow the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) bi-monthly meetings, especially when major issues come before a vote.
That’s exactly what’s on the agenda this Tuesday, when the now 4-member, and what some would refer to as a lame duck board, votes to extend County Administrator Leonard Sossamon’s contract for an additional five years.
The hastened decision to vote on the contract comes as a surprise to some elected officials who say the resolution should rest in the hands of the retained or newly elected BOCC, come November.
Commissioner Jeff Holcomb calls the move “…an outrageous attack on Hernando’s Citizens!”
Holcomb, a Naval Reserve Officer, is currently on leave from the BOCC, due to a sudden deployment to combat terrorism in Southwest Asia.”
In a statement, Holcomb says “While I am targeting terrorists overseas the BOCC is targeting Hernando taxpayers and future commissioners with what appears to be a sleazy political game.” He further states, “It is downright offensive to tie the hands of future county commissions by deciding who their administrator should be now. It is not only offensive, it is underhanded. The commission should never entertain a contract extension of this magnitude when 9 months currently remain on the contract and with less than 100 days until an election, and never by lame duck commissioners. Anything less than waiting until after election day, so the new board can vet the contract, would be shameful and would be a slap in the face to the taxpayers and voters.”
Holcomb says “The new board should decide after they have had time to evaluate the administrator’s performance and develop their own opinion – not accept the opinion of the previous board.
Holcomb continues his admonishment by saying “This shows disrespect to the new Board and is just common sense. Decisions like this go against the will of the people and exacerbate the frustration people have with government.”
“I urge this commission to vote “NO” on this contract extension. The decision should be made by future elected leaders, not by present political cronyism.”
We reached out to County Commission Candidate Joe Swilley who said “I am against the extension of Mr. Sossamon’s contract at this time. His current contract does not expire until 2017 and we’ll have as many as 3 new Commissioners by then, many of whom have expressed the belief that County Administrator and Business Development Coordinator should be held by different people.” Swilley also refers to the current BOCC as a “lame duck commission” and says the vote should wait until after November.
In fairness, we have not had an opportunity to contact Mr. Sossaman, due to news of the vote coming outside of normal business hours. We will certainly reach out to the Administrator Monday morning to allow him an opportunity to respond.
The BOCC meets this Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. but the Administrator’s vote isn’t scheduled until 2:00 p.m. Meetings are held inside the County Courthouse, located at 20 N. Main Street, Room 263, in Brooksville.
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