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Tomalin Named St. Pete City Administrator

Kanika Tomalin | St Petersburg | Deputy Mayor |

She will take over on the retirement of Gary Cornwell. She will remain as deputy mayor. The change is one of several in the city as Mayor Rick Kriseman begins his second term.

ST. PETERSBIRG -The deputy mayor will assume the job of St. Petersburg city administrator when Dr. Gary Cornwell retires next month.

Cornwell will retire Feb. 9 after nearly 38 years with the city of St. Petersburg. Cornwell served as human resources director before 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,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said. “The state of our city and our government has improved thanks to Gary’s expertise and hard work.”

Kriseman named Dr. Kanika Tomalin as St. Pete’s next city administrator, an appointment subject to city council’s confirmation. Similar to past administrators, Dr. Tomalin 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,” Kriseman said.

Tomalin wrote on her Facebook page, “I am honored by this new opportunity to serve. Dr. Gary Cornwell’s leadership has truly been a gift to our city and a stellar example for my next chapter. I am grateful for his service and commitment and look forward to continuing the long-admired legacy of St. Pete’s administrative leadership to which I’ve been witness, dating back to trailblazer Don McRae and including the excellence of Tish Elston and Dr. Cornwell. I am blessed to have known and worked with them all.”

Lisa Wheeler-Bowman | St. Pete City Council | Politics
Lisa Wheeler-Bowman

St. Petersburg City Council Chair Lisa Wheeler-Bowman said, “Kanika Tomalin is not just a popular public figure in our community, but an experienced and skilled executive. She has already proven to be a respected leader and a thoughtful presence in meetings.”

The addition to Tomalin’s responsibilities is just one change Kriseman announced. Among those:

Tom Greene, the city’s budget director since 2013, has been promoted to assistant city administrator, a newly created position. Greene will report to Kriseman through Tomalin. 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 of Kriseman’s office, but will assume the title of chief of policy and public engagement to more accurately reflect his scope of work and our emphasis on policy development and external communications.

Other changes in Kriseman’s office include the addition of John Rodriguez as government affairs director, replacing the recently retired Sally Everett, and the promotion of Sharon Wright, from sustainability manager to sustainability and resiliency director.

Neighborhood Affairs Administrator Mike Dove is retiring. Dove rejoined the city in 2014 and worked on projects that included housing initiatives as well as the curbside recycling program. He will remain in a part-time capacity through May to focus on affordable housing efforts.

Codes Compliance Director Rob Gerdes is being promoted to neighborhood affairs administrator. Before leading codes, Gerdes worked in zoning, as a planner, and in the parks and recreation department.

St. Petersburg | Kanika Tomalin | Rick Kriseman | Gary Cornwell | Tampabay News

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Tomalin Named St. Pete City Administrator
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Tomalin Named St. Pete City Administrator
She will take over on the retirement of Gary Cornwell. She will remain as deputy mayor. The change is one of several in the city as Mayor Rick Kriseman begins his second term.
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TB Reporter
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