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2 quit Port Richey jobs after 2 weeks

The city was pleased to add two building officials, but now is searching for replacements. Both returned to Pinellas Park.

By MATTHEW WAITE

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 1, 2000


PORT RICHEY -- The lament of small cities is it's hard to keep from losing people to larger cities, but Port Richey might have a record: After two weeks on the job, two of three building department officials are gone.

Greg Schneider, the building official, and Anthony Mastracchio, the plans examiner and building inspector, both resigned June 16, two weeks after coming to Port Richey.

City Manager Vince Lupo, who returned from vacation Monday to find them gone, said he was told the two had gone back to Pinellas Park city government, where they worked before coming to Port Richey. He said the two left for personal reasons.

When reached at his Pinellas Park office, Schneider said he didn't want to talk about why he left Port Richey. He said his reasons were in his resignation letter, which was unavailable for examination by the Times on Monday.

City officials had crowed about having Schneider and Mastracchio, as well as Code Enforcement Officer Louis Barber, in the city and had high hopes for them. Council members reached Monday said they were disappointed that the two were gone.

"I don't think they gave the city a decent chance to show what's going on," Council member Joe Menicola said. "It puts a bit of a snag into what you want to do." Lupo had announced the three men had been hired to a nearly empty Port Richey building office at the May 23 council meeting. Each was to start near the first of the month.

Council member Tom Brown said small governments lose people often to larger cities offering more money, and he said the two who left probably received better deals elsewhere. He expressed disappointment because "now you have to start all over."

Lupo said he has begun advertising the openings and hopes to have an agreement with a company to do the jobs while they search for candidates.

Menicola said he hoped the new hires plan to stick around longer than two weeks.

"We have to make sure the people we hire are here to stay," Menicola said. "I don't want any more two-week surprises."

Staff writer Matthew Waite can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6247 or (800) 333-7505, ext. 6247. His e-mail address is waite@sptimes.com.

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