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St. Petersburg’s sustainability and resiliency officer resigns for another job

Sharon Wright, once in the mayor’s office, has worked for the city since 2014.
Sharon Wright, St. Petersburg's sustainability and resiliency officer, is leaving the city to take a new job.
Sharon Wright, St. Petersburg's sustainability and resiliency officer, is leaving the city to take a new job. [ Provided ]
Published Oct. 7|Updated Oct. 7

ST. PETERSBURG — Sharon Wright, the city’s sustainability and resiliency officer tasked with helping to prepare it for the effects of climate change, has resigned.

Wright submitted her resignation letter to public works administrator Claude Tankersley on Wednesday. Her last day is Oct. 21. She said she had accepted an offer from “another organization” and called it a tough decision.

“This has been such an interesting and worthwhile journey from starting in (Planning and Development Services) to work on the Downtown Waterfront Master Plan, to then being given the amazing opportunity to build a new program from the Mayor’s Office, and most recently, being welcomed by you and the (Public Works Administration) leaders and teams,” Wright wrote. “It is difficult to express what an honor it has been to work on the most exciting and diverse array of projects with committed and wonderful teams.”

In the letter, Wright said she will stay in St. Petersburg for the foreseeable future.

“Furthermore, I would be delighted to continue work with the City from the private sector as soon as appropriate,” she wrote.

Wright declined to comment.

Wright started working for the city as a community planner in 2014, according to her LinkedIn page. In August 2015, then-Mayor Rick Kriseman tapped her to be the sustainability manager in his mayor’s office.

In November 2018, she became the director of the Office of Sustainability and Resiliency, where she worked on redevelopment projects such as the St. Pete Pier and the Tropicana Field redevelopment. She also secured a grant for the city through the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge.

Wright worked on the city’s Integrated Sustainability Action Plan, which was unanimously adopted by the City Council the following year. The plan outlines ambitious goals such as making a transition to 100% clean energy and promoting growth while sustaining “a thriving economy and quality of life for the residents of St. Pete.”

Under Mayor Ken Welch, Wright’s position was moved from the mayor’s office to the Public Works Department. She most recently worked on a Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg grant to pay for the Childs Park Neighborhood Resilience Collective, which in part seeks to identify the source of a pervasive smell likely coming from the neighborhood’s industrial corridor.

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