Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Foster reshuffles, not shakes up, St. Petersburg City Hall

ST. PETERSBURG -- In a reorganization he announced on Friday, Mayor Bill Foster didn't as much make major cuts in City Hall upper management as shift it around here and there.

True, he did eliminate one of his top administrative jobs, the amorphously-defined "Internal Services Senior Administrator", occupied by Dave Metz. But Metz won't be leaving the city any time soon. Rather, he'll move into the position now occupied by Chris Ballestra, director of downtown enterprise facilities, which oversees key projects, such as the Pier, Albert Whitted Airport and the Mahaffey Theater.

Ballestra, meanwhile, will take the place of Kevin Dunn, the city's managing director of development coordination. Dunn, who's worked for the city for 31 years, is retiring on Aug. 26. Another prominent employee planning to retire will be Gretchen Tenbrock, the city's recreation manager. Recently married to John Wolfe, the city attorney, Tenbrock plans to retire on Sept. 30 after 38 years with the city.

Other moves include the elimination of administrative services officer in the real estate and property management, and having Robert Danielson, the city's assistant director of marketing and development, return to his previous job of manager of communications/creative services. Foster is actually creating a job in marketing for Tony Leno, who will be the manager for a new Event Recruitment/Management Division

Lori Matway, who is now the city's administrator of school resources and internships and helps oversee projects such as Foster's recent campaign to raise money for scholarships for Pinellas County students, is also being assigned lobbying duties held now by Todd Yost, who is leaving the city on June 3. Wayne Finley will be transferred from the city's budget office to assist Matway in seeking grants.

Matway is one of several employees who will now answer directly to Foster.

Others include Rhonda Abbott, the city's manager of veteran, social and homeless services division, Brad Scott, the city internal auditor, and Eva Andujar, the city clerk, who handles all public record requests.

Foster said a total of seven management positions are being deleted, one in marketing is being created, for a net reduction of six. Along with two management positions getting eliminated in the Police Department, Foster said these personnel moves will be saving $700,000 next year.

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer

Posted by Michael Van Sickler at 5:24:22 pm on May 16, 2011