Editorial: Pinellas commission stands up for accountability

Published January 11 2018
Updated January 12 2018

The Pinellas County Commission has gotten the message that it should not be a rubber stamp. Commissioners sent a clear signal this week they will demand more accountability of local agencies by refusing to approve nominees for the board for CareerSource Pinellas, which spends millions on workforce training.

CareerSource officials sent the commission eight candidates for the board and expected the commission to approve them without any questions. What they did not send were any resumes or lists of qualifications along with the names. Thatís unacceptable and unprofessional, and it has to stop.

The commissioners have learned from the fiasco concerning the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, another independent agency that lacked accountability and oversight for years. The Tampa Bay Timesí Mark Puente reported how the licensing board mismanaged its finances, failed to treat consumers and contractors fairly, and operated as the personal fiefdom of its former executive director. That resulted in a grand jury investigation, and the Florida Legislature is expected to vote soon to place the licensing board directly under county control.

CareerSounce Pinellas is one of 24 workforce agencies statewide that help match unemployed residents with employers. They spend millions in federal dollars on job training, and county commissions approve their budgets and appoint their board members. The least the Pinellas commission can expect are resumes and qualifications for the people they are appointing to run an agency managing so much money and carrying out such an essential assignment. Do not let up.