After accepting a contract as long-term Manatee County Administrator, Scott Hopes will resign his seat on the School Board. The new top executive at the county government must resign his elected post by June 2 as part of the deal.
Hopes signed on as acting county administrator on April 1, months after the county parted ways with former County Administrator Cheri Coryea. The Commission voted 5-2 in favor of awarding a permanent contract; Commissioners George Kruse and Reggie Bellamy dissented.
Notably, Hopes ended up taking the job hours before a potential breach was reported at the Piney Point industrial site, and quickly ended up testifying on behalf of the county to the Florida Legislature about the incident. Commissioners during a Tuesday meeting raised Hopes’ handling of the crisis as a reason for upgrading him to permanent administrator less than two months after he took on the job in an acting capacity.
Before working with the county or school district, Hopes worked for former Gov. Jeb Bush and oversaw a $15 billion budget for the Agency for Health Care Administration. He also has served as CEO of Healthcare Management Decisions, where he has worked 31 years.
Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett said Gov. Ron DeSantis will appoint a replacement for Hopes. A Special Election would be held if Scott had more than 28 months remaining in his term.
For a period, Hopes has continued to serve on the School Board while leading county government.
Hopes’ new contract sets base pay at $199,000 a year, about $12,000 more than his acting administrator contract called for.