Claude Tankersley will replace former St. Petersburg Public Works Administrator Mike Connors. Tankersley comes to the city from Bradenton where he worked in a similar capacity as Public Works director.
He’ll begin mid-February and take over for Tom Gibson who has been interim head of public works since Connor’s departure in late August.
“I am incredibly pleased to have Claude join our team in the Sunshine City and provide our Public Works Administration with new leadership and direction,” Mayor Rick Kriseman said. “Claude is an experienced, accomplished professional with an appreciation for community engagement. His relationships across our region and state will be an asset to our citizens and the City of St. Petersburg.”
Tankersley began working with Bradenton in 2008. The year prior he earned the city’s Leadership Award. Tankersley has been a Florida Certified Professional Engineer since 1995 and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was named the Young Engineer of the Year in 1996.
Tankersley earned his Master’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida in 1991.
“I am very excited to join Mayor Rick Kriseman’s City of St. Petersburg team. As a lifelong Florida resident, I am passionate about building partnerships supportive of our people, our visitors and our environment,” Tankersley said. “I look forward to working with our neighborhoods, businesses and cultural communities to keep the ‘Public’ in Public Works.”
Tankersley will earn $149,000 a year in his new capacity. According to a database of 2014-2015 fiscal year salaries, Tankersley earned just under $120,000 annually working for Bradenton.
Tankersley arrives to the position after inauspicious circumstances dogged his predecessor. Connors resigned abruptly in late summer after raw sewage was dumped into environmentally sensitive Clam Bayou, Tampa Bay, and the Eckerd College campus.
Prior to that, Connors already was being scrutinized for his work despite nearly three decades of service. The scrutiny followed a contentious selection process for a new Pier design where the most popular design chosen by survey was dismissed by the committee Connors led.
Connors’ salary was just over $140,000 annually.