CW44 News At 10

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY (CW44 News At 10) – Mike Merrill commits his final on-camera interview as Hillsborough County’s Administrator to CW44 News News At 10. He’s spent the last 10 years in Hillsborough’s top job, and more than three decades working for the county.

Mr. Merrill officially retires Tuesday, and not holding back, he relates, “I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way.  I’m going to put it this way we’re in a war,” referring to the current surge in COVID-19, “So, we’re not just fighting for for our lives, we’re fighting for our livelihoods.” 

As an employee of the county since 1988, he explains how, five years ago, he opted into a retirement plan that forces him to retire within the five years. “I rather not [retire], because I think there is some benefit in continuity, but I have no choice. Five years ago, when I elected [this retirement plan], I didn’t know we’d be in a pandemic. Now, fast forward five years, and June 30th I have to leave. Put aside whatever disagreements and other things that are going because the virus doesn’t care about that. This is going to keep coming.”

Merrill reflects during his occupation of the County Administrator role, his experience isn’t limited to only a pandemic. In 2010, when he first assumed the role, it was recession at the front of minds of the community he served. When asked of the legacy he hopes to leave, “I would hope that people would feel that I was fair, committed and really worked hard for the community.” Earlier this month, Hillsborough County Commissioners renamed the Pet Resource Center after Mr. Merrill.

When asked, ‘What’s next?’ for the man who served more than three decades with the county, “Sleep for a while,” he relates through a chuckle. He’ll also be spending more time with his two pups, Auggie and Suni.

Along with many others in the community, CW44 wishes Mr. Mike Merrill a happy retirement and thanks him for his decades of service.