ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council on Thursday unanimously approved Mayor Rick Kriseman's recommended pick to replace retiring City Clerk Eva Andujar.
Praising Andujar's peformance, council members said they had high hopes for her successor, Chan Srinivasa.
Andujar has served as clerk since 2001. She has worked for the city for 32 years.
After the council's vote and its effusive praise of the mayor's pick, council member Karl Nurse asked Kriseman: "It's not so painful, is it?"
Nurse's comment referenced a recent spat between council members and the administration over their ability to voice opinions on mayoral appointments.
The city's charter requires the council to approve the city clerk. But last month, council members wanted to comment on Kriseman's options for police chief, leading City Attorney John Wolfe to warn they could face removal if they interfered with the mayor's powers.
In response, Nurse asked legal staff to prepare an ordinance that would codify council members' right to offer their opinion on mayoral appointments. On Thursday, that ordinance was submitted to the council, but Nurse said he didn't think a provision limiting them to "private expression" of their opinions to the mayor was sufficient.
"People ask me all the time at neighborhood meetings what my opinion is," Nurse said.
He said he would seek to have the proposed ordinance amended at the July 24 meeting.
Also Thursday, the council unanimously approved a settlement agreement with the city of Treasure Island over a 6-year-long dispute over wastewater fees.