NEW PORT RICHEY — County Administrator Michele Baker is close to filling a critical position in her leadership team.
Baker has been doubling as the county’s administrator for development services since May, when longtime administrator Bipin Parihk retired after a 31-year career with the county.
Baker said the job was so important she wanted to fill it even before hiring an new chief assistant county administrator. She has narrowed the list of more than 60 qualified candidates to three finalists.
They are Howard Brown, acting assistant city manager for the city of Opa-locka in Miami-Dade County; Vincent Cautero, planning and development director for Citrus County; and Richard Gehring, Pasco’s planning and development administrator. Each is scheduled to interview next week with Baker, her assistant administrators and department heads.
“I want them to have a say,” Baker said. “It’s important for us to have teamwork for this. I hope to have a hiring decision by the end of the week.”