Hillsborough Growth Management Director Aluotto Gets Canned

By George Niemann

Daily Loaf contributor, R-LAND, UCAN, FSP activist, Florida Hometown Democracy believer. The views expressed are my own and not necessarily the same as the organizations to which I belong.

Peter Aluotto, Director of Planning and Growth Management for Hillsborough County has been suddenly let go effective Friday, March 25, 2011.

Here is the internal memo sent to the Board of County Commissioners by County Administrator Mike Merrill announcing Aluotto's firing:

M E M O R A N D U M

DATE: March 25, 2011

TO: The Board of County Commissioners

FROM: Michael S. Merrill, County Administrator

SUBJECT: Personnel and Departmental Changes

In a continuing effort to keep you informed about the implementation of personnel and

departmental changes related to the reorganization plan, I want to make you aware of the

following:

Peter Aluotto, Director of Planning and Growth Management, will no longer be employed with Hillsborough County Government effective today.

Under the current reorganization plan, approved March 16th at the regular Commission meeting, Planning and Growth Management was renamed to Development Services, which will remain part of the overall responsibilities of Deputy County Administrator Lucia Garsys. However, the points of contact for Development Services will now be:

Planning and Zoning Joe Moreda reporting to Lucia Garsys

Development Review Bob Campbell reporting to John Lyons

Building and Construction Wayne Francis reporting to Peggy Hamric

I look forward to providing you with further updates regarding our integrated approach to

guiding customers through the planning and building process which will help us achieve our goals.

CC: Renée Lee, County Attorney

Helene Marks, Chief Administrative Officer

Bonnie Wise Chief Financial Officer

Lucia Garsys, Deputy County Administrator

Sharon Subadan, Deputy County Administrator

John Lyons, Public Works Director

Peggy Hamric, Customer Services Director

His firing will be passed off as routine fallout from the reorganization being led by County Administrator Mike Merrill. But to county-watchers, the reasons for his firing may go a lot deeper than just a routine reorganization.

Did he get in the way of Deputy County Administrator Lucia Garsys once to often? Did he piss off developers once too often? It’s probably a combination of the above.

Just for the record he pissed off citizen advocates big time, as well, but pissing off citizens doesn’t qualify as a reason for dismissal. In any case, things are buzzing and rumors are flying down at county center.

We’ll know more as the press starts to dig in.

Interesting Note: The name change from Planning & Growth Management (PGM) to Development Services is a true Freudian slip. The county wants to get away from ugly words like “Planning” and/or “Growth Management”. Those words are so 80’s. Since the developers and politicians believe that the only way to extricate ourselves from these economic doldrums is to build/develop more homes, why not just name that organization the Development Department. This way the developers are happy knowing that they have their own department.

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