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General services director selected

Published Sep. 13, 2005

The city is hiring St. Petersburg's economic development manager to be its first general services director.

Roy Otto, 33, will be responsible for beautifying roads, promoting business development and overseeing the renovation of three parks.

As one of Seminole's top administrators, Otto will serve directly under City Manager Frank Edmunds and act as a liaison with the public and businesses.

Otto said he's looking forward to playing a large role in the city's small government.

"When you work in an organization that has 3,000 employees, you end up delegating," said Otto, a St. Petersburg employee for the past 10 years. "I really relish the opportunity to get to do a lot myself in Seminole."

Edmunds called Otto a "very good match" for the job. Otto developed a road beautification plan in St. Petersburg. He also managed an economic revitalization program there.

With Otto's hiring, the city has filled the last of four top administrative positions that came open in recent months.

Otto's first day on the $55,000-a-year job will be May 26. He will replace technical services director George Kingsbury, who resigned.

The technical services job, which included engineering tasks, was transformed into the general services job during a recent reorganization of city government.

The technical responsibilities shifted to the new code administrator, freeing Otto to focus on community development initiatives. Otto, second-in-command to Edmunds at City Hall, also will supervise the public works division.

A Colorado native, Otto moved to St. Petersburg 10 years ago to work as an assistant to the city's public works administrator.

Five years later, he became manager of the mayor's Neighborhood Partnership Program. He has been the economic development manager since 1996.

Otto has a bachelor's degree in political science from Colorado State University and a master's degree in public administration from the University of South Florida.

Becoming a director in Seminole is a step up from his position in St. Petersburg, Otto said.

"I'm really excited about the opportunities," he said. "It's a neat little community."