Ken Welch announces hiring of staff and promotes long-term municipal employees


Mayor of Saint Petersburg Ken welch promoted three long-time municipal employees to his municipal administration at the start of his tenure.

Staff members understand Robert Gerdes, who will assume the role of deputy municipal administrator; James Corbett, who will join as administrator of neighborhood affairs; and Joe Zeoli, who will work as the interim city development administrator.

Gerdes previously held the position of Neighborhood Affairs Administrator, a position he held in January 2018. He has worked for the city since 2000, also serving as Director of the City’s Code Compliance Department.

He has also held positions in the planning and economic development department, parks and recreation, and downtown corporate facilities.

Corbett will replace Gerdes as Neighborhood Affairs Administrator after serving as Code Compliance Director since 2018. He has worked for the city since 2005, including as Code Compliance Operations Manager and Code Analyst. operations.

In his role as Director of Code Compliance, Corbett has led various scourge reduction programs and initiatives to provide affordable housing packages.

Zeoli has worked in the city for almost 35 years and has been promoted from general manager of administration and finance to interim administrator of city development. Previously, he held the position of Financial Director in the City Development Administration from 1987 to 2001.

Previously, he was a systems auditor for Florida Power, now Duke Energy, and a senior accountant for the accounting firm Cherry Bekaert & Holland.

Welch made the recent staffing announcement after his inauguration last Thursday, where he became the city’s first black mayor.

New staff will join The growing administration of Welch, which also includes Stephanie Owens, a veteran of the Bill clinton and Barack obama presidential administrations, which will serve as deputy mayor and head of policy. Florida Political Editor Janelle Irwin Taylor will join the administration as communications director. And Tom greene will move from deputy municipal administrator to interim municipal administrator.

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