University of South Florida might not fill the $250,000 job created for former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker
A lofty job at the University of South Florida might or might not be available next month.
With former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker giving up his $250,000 a year position as a vice president of economic development, the university doesn’t know if it will fill the position when Baker leaves at the end of the month.
It might make people wonder if the job was really needed when it was created in 2010. The position was funded by the USF Research Foundation, a private support organization.
Baker is leaving to become president of the Edwards Group, owned by mortgage magnate and music producer Bill Edwards.
In his new role, Baker will take charge of the former BayWalk shopping center, which is now called the Shops at St. Pete. He’ll also oversee Edwards’ Club at Treasure Island and hotels, entertainment venues and commercial real estate.
This isn’t the first time Edwards plucked someone from St. Petersburg’s hierarchy at City Hall to help run his empire.
Kevin Dunn, the former managing director of development coordination, retired in August 2011 after spending 31 years with the city. He then joined Edwards’ team.