County administrator to oversee land deals

10/07/08 Seán Kinane
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Last year Pinellas County purchased land from Property Appraiser Jim Smith, prompting rebuke from a grand jury, the dismissal of the county’s attorney and resignation of the county administrator.

Today, the Board of County Commissioners gave the county administrator sole authority to purchase land and enter leases of up to $250,000. The purchase would have to be in line with capital projects that were already approved by the County Commission.

Commissioner Ken Welch said that steps were taken to improve transparency.

The only commissioner to vote against the deal was Karen Seel, who was leery of the Commission giving up oversight on land purchases.

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