Pinellas commissioners choose new(ish) county administrator

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Pinellas County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to permanently hire interim county administrator Mark Woodard for the job he’s been doing since April.

Woodard took over for former administrator Bob LaSala after he was fired in the spring.

There were about four-dozen nationwide applicants whose resumes will be chucked now that the county has agreed to enter into negotiations with Woodard.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Woodard has unparalleled knowledge of the county and knows what mistakes to avoid.

That would include those of his predecessor that led to high employee turnover and the alienation of officials from the county’s 24 municipalities.

Woodard has worked for the county since 1988. He most recently served as assistant county administrator under LaSala.

When commissioners chose Woodard as the interim administrator he declined a contract and instead only asked for an adjusted salary to reflect his increased job responsibilities.

Woodard’s previous salary as assistant administrator was $179,608. LaSala’s salary was about $225,000.

Negotiations for Woodard’s contract will likely include a similar salary as well as a car allowance.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.