Vince Long Is Where He Wants To Be

Vince Long is slick. There’s really no other way to put it. How else to describe a guy who, in the span of 24 hours, somehow managed the announcement that his boss, Leon County Administrator Parwez Alam, was retiring, then got seven County Commissioners to unanimously vote to name him as the replacement, complete with a 30% raise, and without seriously considering putting the opening out for bid?

In fact, only one County Commissioner, District Five’s Kristin Dozier, even broached the subject during the discussion. And even then she did so by saying that opening the process up to other applicants “would only help cement Vince’s profile as the best”.

24 hours. Seven votes. No bids. And a roughly $40,000 raise, complete with addition car allowances and $12,000 in “deferred compensation” Mr. Long freely admits “is undoubtedly an additional benefit”.

Oh, and the whole deal was sold as a fiscally conservative maneuver, as Long’s old position was eliminated, and between his old salary and the difference between his new one and Alam’s old salary, the County expects to save $250,000 a year.

Like we said, Vince Long is slick. Of course, he’s also generally considered to be among the top professionals in his position (past and present) in the state, touts a faculty position at FSU’s Askew School of Public Administration and Policy (as well as a Master’s degree from said school) and has graduated from the Executive program at Harvard’s JFK school of Government. His resume is literally over four pages long, and it seems like it takes longer to read it than it took the County to name him as Alam’s successor.

In a different time, maybe the discussion would have lasted a little longer. But with the local economy staring the legislative led layoffs and pension pinching in the face and pocketbook, and the County trying to close a 13 million  dollar deficit, the prevailing wisdom was that Vince Long was the right man, at the right time, for the job.

And for the record, Vince Long really likes the business he is in. He is always ready to trot out a stat about the leanness of the County workforce as compared to other counties around the state, even though he will also concede no other county has as strong and singular a governing entity as the City of Tallahassee to work alongside.

But Long takes genuine pride in the staff he has helped put in place, and is the first to admit his heavy reliance upon them, especially now that the staff is down one administrative position.

“Vince is a one-percenter” says Alan Rosensweig, Deputy County Administrator. “Some people need 90 percent of the information about an issue to make a decision. Some people need 50. I’m probably a five or 10 percent person. But Vince only needs one. And at his level, that’s how it should be. He trusts his staff. Around here, you have to sort of just figure it out. We’re so lean, we just give people issues and say ‘it’s yours’. And we’ve got the horsepower to pull it off.”

Time will tell. Certainly more challenges await. The County chose not to raise the millage rate this year, but swears it will have to happen next year as property values continue to decline and some additional expenses add up.

“If you can’t get excited about the challenges facing local governments today, you’re in the wrong business,” Long says.

Right or wrong, Vince Long is exactly where he wants to be.


3 Responses to "Vince Long Is Where He Wants To Be"

  1. It sounds like Vince Long is the Boob McKee of Leon County. Bob McKee is the tax collector of Lake County and has a long history of floating straight to the top fast anywhere he goes. But even worse he has a history of lying about everything especially educational degree’s and how long he served in the Navy (53 Days)always lamenting MASTER’S DEGREE’S and he has none. In fact even his New York Regents High School Diploma is in question. He tells folks he’s the Godfather and he is untouchable. He must be because researchers have located four different dates of birth he has used on applications THREE different ones of which is with the Fl Dept of Education for a baseball coach parttime certificate.

  2. This guy has to be the worst Admin ever. I mean He knows about one percent of the subject before he makes a decides on something COME ON HE IS AN OVER PAID MORAN

  3. Vince Long shortly before being named county administrator attempted to steer a contract to Sean Pittman for the fairground feasibility study.

    As Assistant County Administrator, Leon County enacted a contract to the owner of a home who was selling their home to a former Leon County administrative staff member.  The house’s value was underwater for the same amount the homeowner received a contract for.

    Leon County was slow to react to a recent mosquito infestation that went on for weeks before aerial spraying was done to help alleviate the problem. 

    A government not enacting a search for prospective candidates for the Administrator position is unheard of.  It is troublesome that with so many credentials Mr. Long did not insist on a search to fill the position of County Administrator.

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