Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Bill Foster will keep most City Hall administrators and managers

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor-elect Bill Foster will keep the majority of City Hall's top administrators and managers when he takes office in two weeks.

Foster, whose campaign platform extolled stability and efficiency, will retain all three deputy mayors, albeit with new titles. As a candidate, he said some residents confused the deputy mayor titles for elected positions, and he vowed to reshape the city's organizational chart.

"I want to make sure the right people were in the right spots," Foster said.

There were no dismissals or salary changes announced in a wide, sweeping memorandum released Friday afternoon.

Among the changes that will be phased in when Foster takes office Jan. 4:

• Deputy Mayor Tish Elston's new title is city administrator. She will oversee the budget, finance and school resources departments. This is somewhat of a promotion for Elston, who will now oversee the city's other administrators.

• Deputy Mayor Goliath Davis will be the city's community enrichment senior administrator. Davis, who was often hounded by complaints that his title as deputy mayor of the city's black neighborhoods didn't accurately reflect his duties, will continue to oversee the city's business assistance center and diverse areas such as Midtown and Childs Park. He also will supervise codes assistance, community initiatives, housing and community development, and special projects. Many of these duties were previously under the umbrella of Deputy Mayor David Metz. Davis, who currently answers directly to Mayor Rick Baker, will fall under Elston's authority in a Foster administration.

• Metz will become the city's internal services senior administrator. He will monitor the city's billing and collections, city clerk, human resources, government services, information and communication services, and purchasing departments. This post is currently held by Mike Connors. Metz also answers to the mayor. He will soon be under Elston's auspices.

• Connors' new title is public works administrator. He will oversee the engineering and capital improvements, fleet management, sanitation, stormwater, pavement and traffic operations, and water resources departments. Many of these duties already are part of his job.

• Most employees will keep their current titles, including city development senior administrator Rick Mussett, city attorney John Wolfe, fire Chief James Large, police Chief Chuck Harmon and City Clerk Eva Andujar.

Foster also announced the departure of a handful of upper management employees:

• Finance director Jeff Spies will retire in May. Spies, who oversaw a controversial securities lending program that drained roughly $15.8 million from city coffers last year, elected to leave on his own accord, Foster said.

• Parks director Cliff Footlick, a 43-year veteran, is retiring. Foster will combine the city's parks and recreation departments into one department under Sherry McBee, the city's current recreation director.

• Julie Weston, the city's director of development services, is also leaving next month. On the campaign trail, many candidates said her department has made it difficult for businesses to obtain permits. Elston said Weston's departure had nothing to do with her performance. Weston's responsibilities will fall to economic development director Dave Goodwin, who will soon be named planning and economic development director.

Foster and Elston met with the city's administrators and managers Friday, when he reiterated his campaign goals: public safety, customer service, cost effective service and education.

The meeting took on a pep rally atmosphere, with Foster praising the city's capable workers. Most administrators were told of the changes prior to the meeting.

Foster said he could make more structural changes soon, based on projections for the 2010 city budget.

"It's pretty different," Foster said of his new plan. "I really wanted to build upon the talent we have."

However, Elston said few employees had questions about the new organizational chart.

"It's not a whole lot of change from what we have done before," she said.

Cristina Silva can be reached at (727) 893-8846 or csilva@sptimes.com.

St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Bill Foster will keep most City Hall administrators and managers 12/18/09 [Last modified: Saturday, December 19, 2009 12:17am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Video: Indianapolis 500 drivers in fiery crash somehow walk away uninjured

    Auto racing

    Scott Dixon and Jay Howard avoided injury in a spectacular crash - or what Dixon labeled "a wild ride" afterward - during the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

  2. Homeland security chief defends Kushner's alleged proposal for 'back channel' to the Russians as 'a good thing"

    National

    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the lone administration official to speak out publicly about reports that Jared Kushner sought a back channel to communicate with the Russian government, defended the move, saying it was a "good thing" for the U.S. government.

    Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, listens during a meeting with small business leaders at the White House on Jan. 30. [Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford]
  3. After hard charging on health care in 2016, Marco Rubio is slow, careful

    Blogs

    As a presidential candidate, Marco Rubio pitched an Obamacare replacement and tore into Donald Trump for not having one. "What is your plan? What is your plan on health care? You don't have a plan," the Florida senator aggressively challenged in a February 2016 debate.

  4. Report: Florida counties part of liver disease cluster

    Research

    STUART — Four counties along Florida's Treasure Coast make up a cluster with high rates of both deaths from liver disease and algae blooms.

  5. Authorities say cocaine is making comeback in Florida

    Crime

    FORT LAUDERDALE — Drug enforcement officials say traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade.

    Traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade, officials say.  [Times files]