After clerk raises concern over Manatee County administrator, meeting will address contract

Angel Colonneso expressed concerns over Dr. Scott Hopes’ leadership
Dr. Scott Hopes spoke to return
Dr. Scott Hopes spoke to return(WWSB)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 3:45 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Agenda items relating to the salary and contract of Manatee County Administrator Dr. Scott Hopes is set to be discussed at a commission meeting Tuesday, May 24.

The meeting is set to be held at 9 a.m. The discussion of Hope’s salary and contract follows concerns expressed by Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Angel Colonneso.

Colonneso wrote a letter to Manatee County Commission Chairman Kevin Van Ostenbridge expressing concern over what she called a lack of communication and transparency under Hopes’ leadership.

Colonneso wrote that she had become increasingly concerned and had been monitoring the situation. She also noted that she had been recently “admonished” by Hopes when he told her she had to coordinate with him regarding an open record request.

“This is not a complete account of all concerning activity that has transpired. The actions of your administrator hinder my constitutional duties as clerk to the board, accountant, auditor and custodian of all county funds,” Colonneso wrote.

She sent the letter to Van Ostenbridge, who then sent the following message to the media:

“As Chairman of the Manatee County Commission, I will not sit idly by while an elected official abuses the status of her office to attack one of our county employees. The Clerk’s letter is strategic and politically motivated. Recently, light has been shed on Miss Colonneso’s actions as Clerk which resulted in the loss of millions of taxpayer dollars. Miss Colonnesso has chosen not to face the music and take responsibility for her own actions. Instead, she has taken a page from the Joe Biden playbook and is pointing a finger at others to distract from her failures. This political stunt attempts to undermine the sovereignty of our Board of County Commissioners. Manatee County taxpayers deserve better from their Clerk.”

After this letter came out, Colonneso responded to Van Ostenrbridge. You can read her response below.

Editor’s Note: This letter was sent on behalf of the chair of the Manatee County Commission, not the entire Commission.

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