Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg loses two top staffers this week

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Bill Foster lost two key members of his staff this week.

Wayne Finley, a contracts and grants officer who makes about $73,000 a year, resigned around noon Thursday. His departure surprised Foster and City Council members.

Finley, who started working for the city in 2006, will take a new position doing similar work for Hillsborough County. The job came with a 25 percent raise.

"I've been a little stifled here," he said. "We've been through budget cuts. It's giving me an executive management position."

Earlier this week, Lori Matway, the city's education and government services manager, announced she is going back to the Pinellas County School District. She will be an associate superintendent of student and community support.

Matway came to the city in 2007 and earned about $97,000 a year.

Some City Council members were unhappy that they learned about the departures from the Tampa Bay Times.

"I hate to keep hearing these things from others outside of City Hall," said council member Leslie Curran.

Foster said he knew Matway was considering a new job, but he also learned about her resignation by reading the Times.

"I read about it online Tuesday," Foster said. "It was handled terribly."

Matway will earn more money with the school district and have more advancement opportunities, he told the group.

The departures will not hurt St. Petersburg, Foster said, adding: "All of these resignations will provide us with great opportunities to shake things up."

Council member Wengay Newton asked whether more people are leaving. Foster said he didn't know.

Speculation is swirling around City Hall that key staffers are leaving because they fear Foster will not be re-elected later this year.

Foster scoffed and pointed to the higher salaries that Matway and Finley will earn in their new jobs.

"It's an election year," Foster said. "People will say anything they want."

City Council Chairman Karl Nurse told his colleagues that the way the group conducts business contributes to making staffers unhappy. The group routinely bickers among themselves and lobs insults at each other in public meetings

"It's not about money," he said.

Curran replied: "Speak for yourself."

Mark Puente can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.

St. Petersburg loses two top staffers this week 05/09/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 9, 2013 11:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest

    BY AMY SCHERZER

    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.