PORT RICHEY — Len Sossamon’s stay in Port Richey may be extended — indefinitely.
The City Council asked Sossamon, the current interim city manager, if he’s interested in submitting his resume along with other candidates to take over full-time.
“I would definitely be willing to consider staying on and that would be up to you in terms of how long you want me to stay,” Sossamon said during the Sept. 22 regular public meeting. “If we could work out something, it would be my pleasure. I’ve been happy here, I have fun, I think we’ve made some forward progress.”
Sossamon took over for former City Manager Vincent Lupo on June 27. Since then, he’s been tasked with managing the city’s day-to-day operations as well as assisting in selecting a new city manager. The interim position is to last no longer than six months.
“His whole purpose was to kind of hold down the fort and make sure there’s no immediate problems that happen in the city until we find a permanent fix,” said Mayor Scott Tremblay. “In my opinion he’s exceeded my expectations because I think he’s moved along really well with the employees as well as with some of the projects that we have. I think he’s moving us forward in a positive direction.”
The city is currently working with executive recruitment firm Colin Baenziger and Associates, based out of Daytona Beach Shores. Prior to being asked to consider joining the job search process, Sossamon reported that the recruitment firm has identified four to six potential candidates as of Sept. 22. City Clerk Sal Licari presented board members with a candidate packet during the meeting.
Councilwoman Jennie Sorrell was absent last week, but the remaining four board members supported Sossamon’s inclusion to the search process.
“What I’ve been impressed with is that you came on board, you took ownership and you’re handling business as if you’re here to stay as opposed to being in the interim,” Councilman Tom Kinsella said. “You’ve kept us moving along and I really appreciate that.”
Councilman Todd Maklary noted that it would be appropriate and fair for Sossamon to submit his resume and related materials to Baenziger and Associates. “You should go through the same procedures as everyone else so we can be presented with a full presentation of all candidates for the position.”
Maklary also pointed out that the late addition of Sossamon may push back the decision-making process by another “two to four weeks.”
“As important of a decision as it is, I’m OK with that,” said Tremblay.
According to Sossamon’s review when being hired on an interim basis, he’s worked with local governments for more than 23 years. Prior to Port Richey, Sossamon’s previous position was as Hernando County administrator from 2012-2019.
Based on Sossamon’s official start date with the city, his interim contract would expire Nov. 27.