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Meet incoming St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch’s top City Hall administrators

Welch’s core team is Stephanie Owens, Janelle Irwin Taylor, Tom Greene and Doyle Walsh.
Incoming St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch has hired (clockwise from top left) Stephanie Owens, Tom Greene, Doyle Walsh and Janelle Irwin Taylor as his top staff in City Hall.
Incoming St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch has hired (clockwise from top left) Stephanie Owens, Tom Greene, Doyle Walsh and Janelle Irwin Taylor as his top staff in City Hall. [ Images from LinkedIn and Twitter ]
Published Jan. 5|Updated Jan. 6

ST. PETERSBURG — Incoming Mayor Ken Welch announced his top staff Wednesday.

Stephanie Owens, who served as Welch’s campaign manager and transition director, has been named deputy mayor and chief of policy. Tom Greene, who worked in Rick Kriseman’s administration, will be interim city administrator. Greene and Owens will report directly to Welch.

Janelle Irwin Taylor, an editor at the website Florida Politics, has been named director of communications. Doyle Walsh, who worked on Welch’s campaign and was a longtime aide to Welch’s former colleague, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long, will serve as senior adviser, a new position.

“Inclusive progress for our city will take a focused commitment to equity, innovation, collaboration and community impact,” Welch said in a statement. “I am thrilled to welcome these new staff members to the excellent team already in place at City Hall. Each has a depth of experience and dedication to our city that will serve citizens well.”

Related: Who stays, who goes? Inside Ken Welch’s transition to St. Petersburg City Hall

Welch tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week, and his in-person inauguration scheduled for Thursday has been canceled. He will instead be sworn in from home and expects to begin working at City Hall on Monday.

Owens has previously served as an appointee of Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton and held senior positions in the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Commerce. She is also a St. Petersburg Housing Authority commissioner.

Owens will make an annual salary of $217,000, the same salary as outgoing Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin. Tomalin starts as the chief operating officer of Eckerd College this month.

Greene is the current assistant city administrator, a job he’s had since 2018. Before that, he served as the city’s budget director. He gets a raise under Welch, from making $192,799.14 under Kriseman to $210,000.

Irwin Taylor has worked as the senior editor for Florida Politics since 2019 and previously held roles at the Tampa Bay Business Journal and WMNF Community Radio. She will make $127,000, comparable to the salary of Kriseman’s spokesman, Ben Kirby, who made $125,135.

Related: Mayor-elect Ken Welch’s historic ride to St. Petersburg City Hall
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