St. Petersburg fires 3 directors and 1 manager, but won’t say why

The terminations were in marketing, real estate and stormwater, pavement and traffic operations.
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch speaks on the steps of City Hall.
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch speaks on the steps of City Hall. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Dec. 12, 2022|Updated Dec. 12, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG — Three directors and one manager were fired from City Hall this month.

The fired employees are:

  • Alfred Wendler, real estate and property management director
  • Diana Rawleigh, pavement and traffic operations director
  • Blair Barnhardt, pavement and traffic manager

Nina Mahmoudi, the city’s marketing director of eight years, submitted her resignation Dec. 2, saying it was effective immediately.

City spokesperson Erica Riggins said the city does not comment on personnel matters.

City administrator Rob Gerdes notified employees of the management changes late Friday afternoon. Aaron Fisch was promoted to interim director of real estate and property management, Demitrius McCallister is now serving as the interim manager of pavement and traffic operations and Marshall Hampton is the interim director of the stormwater, pavement and traffic operations department.

According to LinkedIn, Barnhardt began working for the city in August 2021. He reported to Rawleigh, who began her career at the city in July 2019. Wendler started working for the city in June 2018.

Mayor Ken Welch’s chief of staff, Doyle Walsh, notified employees Dec. 5 that Logan Smith is now serving as interim marketing director.

In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, Mahmoudi called her tenure at the city the honor of a lifetime.

“I am so proud to have cultivated and led a diverse, award-winning, standard-setting municipal marketing team,” she wrote. “I am grateful to have led the rebranding of the city’s identity, introduced the next generation Pier to our community and visitors, modernized and expanded the city’s social media presence; and much more. I look forward to the next chapter of serving our great community.”

Wendler, Rawleigh and Barnhardt could not be reached for comment.