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Director of Pinellas construction licensing board retires

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Rodney Fisher, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, announced his retirement during a meeting Tuesday of the Pinellas County Legislative Delegation.

Fisher, who has been the target of recent stories in the Tampa Bay Times, referred to those saying, “The issue with the PCCLB should not be about me. … I am retiring as the executive director.”

The stories have alleged that some homeowners and contractors feel “cheated, ignored and even stonewalled” by the agency. As for Fisher, stories have claimed that he is a “bully” who can be “charming and knowledgeable, but also volatile and vindictive.”

The announcement of Fisher’s retirement came as delegation members considered two proposed local bills — one would have dissolved the board; the other would have made changes to the board’s membership.

In the end, the proposal to dissolve the PCCLB was withdrawn while the other was unanimously passed. But it’s unlikely that will be the final solution for the board’s future. State Sen. Jack Latvala, the head of the delegation, appointed state Sen. Jeff Brandes and state Rep. Larry Ahern to meet with Pinellas County Commission Chair Janet Long to try to find a solution.

It’s likely the solution will reflect a proposal sent to the delegation Monday by Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard. The proposal reached the delegation too late to be considered at Tuesday’s meeting. But some delegation members indicated they liked the concepts.

Woodard’s proposal would make three changes to the 1973 act that created the PCCLB:

— Update the names of the nominating organizations and adds a remodeling contractor to the membership of the PCCLB.

— Reinstate term limits, which were a part of the original special act, for the PCCLB members who are not serving as a function of their job with a local government.

— Place all employees of the PCCLB under the County Commission while reporting to the county administrator. Organizationally, this function would report to consumer protection.

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