Deputy Mayor to pull double duty

Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, featured

ST. PETERSBURG – Next month, Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin will take over as city administrator as well as being second in charge of the city.

Current City Administrator Dr. Gary Cornwell will retire Feb. 9 after nearly 38 years with the city. He served as Human Resources Director prior to being confirmed as city administrator in 2014.

“Gary has served our residents and employees exceptionally well for nearly 38 years, and I am especially grateful for his steady leadership and wise counsel throughout my first term,” said Mayor Rick Kriseman. “The state of our city and our government has improved thanks to Gary’s expertise and hard work.”

Mayor Kriseman named Dr. Tomalin as the next city administrator, an appointment subject to city council’s confirmation. Similar to past administrators, she will also remain deputy mayor.

“Her extensive administrative experience in the private sector prior to 2014 and her broad responsibilities as deputy mayor since 2014 make her the ideal person to ensure continuity and move us forward,” said the mayor.

City Council Chair Lisa Wheeler-Bowman said Dr. Tomalin is not just a popular public figure in the community but an experienced and skilled executive.

“She has already proven to be a respected leader and a thoughtful presence in meetings,” said Wheeler-Bowman.

Tom Greene, the city’s budget director since 2013, has been promoted to Assistant City Administrator, a newly created position.

Other changes include Liz Makofske, who has served as a Public Works Business Services Manager, Fire Administrative Services Manager and Senior Budget Analyst since 2006, is being promoted to Budget Director.

Chief of Staff Kevin King will continue to direct mayoral policy and the day-to-day activities but will assume the title of Chief of Policy & Public Engagement to more accurately reflect his scope of work and our emphasis on policy development and external communications.

John Rodriguez will replace recently retired Sally Everett, Sharon Wright was promoted from Sustainability Manager to Sustainability & Resiliency Director and Neighborhood Affairs Administrator Mike Dove is retiring but will continue his service to the city in a part-time capacity, focusing on assisting us in our affordable housing efforts through May.

Codes Compliance Director Rob Gerdes is being promoted to Neighborhood Affairs Administrator, while Codes Compliance Operations Manager James Corbett will become the next talk Codes Compliance Director.

Leisure Services Administrator Sherry McBee is retiring and Parks & Recreation Director Mike Jefferis will step into the role. Marketing Manager Nina Mahmoudi is being promoted to Marketing Director.

Managing Director of Development Coordination Chris Ballestra will assume the responsibilities of recently retired Clay Smith’s position of Interim Enterprise Facilities Director. Ballestra will continue in his current role, which includes oversight of our new St. Pete Pier and Pier District.

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