Mayor Jane Castor Announces Key Staff Changes

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Mayor Castor announced two key staff changes today as she works to formulate a team to help drive her vision for Tampa’s future. 


First is the appointment of Gina Grimes as City Attorney. Ms. Grimes is currently a shareholder in the Tampa law firm Hill, Ward, Henderson where she specializes in land use and zoning law and real estate law.  Gina formerly served as Chief Assistant City Attorney and City Council Attorney for the City of Tampa for 18 years and has a broad base of experience in local government matters. 


“Gina is a formidable attorney with decades of experience in both the public and private sector,” said Mayor Jane Castor.  “Her innovative approach to running the city’s legal department will enable us to increase communication and improve city services, while ensuring that the City’s interests are protected. We welcome Gina while also thanking Sal Territo for his years of dedication to this great city.”


Ms. Grimes will begin with the City on August 12th. Until that time Sal Territo will continue to serve as City Attorney and will remain with the City of Tampa legal department after he steps down. 


“It will be an honor to serve as City Attorney - and it’s even more meaningful to me because I began my career in the City Attorney’s Office in 1985 as a law clerk,” said Gina Grimes.  “After practicing law in the private sector for the last 15 years, I am returning to public service because Mayor Castor has a visionary plan in place for governing and streamlining city services to ensure Tampa’s continued success.  I look forward to working with Mayor Castor, City Council and the Tampa residents.”


Mayor Castor is also announcing the departure of Chief Financial Officer Sonya Little who will leave for a new opportunity on August 1.


“We could not have asked for a better CFO to lead this great city out of the recession,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “She is leaving the city with some of the best financial footing we’ve had in decades, including 13 consecutive credit rating increases. Her talent goes far beyond the budget books and the void she will leave will be hard to fill. That being said, in my career I’ve made it a point to never stand in the way of someone else's success. Although it will be difficult to see her go, I am proud of her contributions to the City and want to thank her for her unwavering commitment to her role overseeing our budget and her participation in my transition advisory teams.”


“My tenure with the City of Tampa has been one of the greatest opportunities in my professional career.  I could not be more appreciative to Mayor Castor and her administration for all that we have done together and all that they will continue to do for the city,” said CFO Sonya Little. “I also owe a debt of gratitude to Mayor Buckhorn for having confidence in my ability to fulfill this role for the past eight years. My team and the entire City of Tampa staff are world class and the best is yet to come. It has been a great honor to serve the citizens of this great community and I look forward to this next opportunity.”


Gina Grimes’s Bio

Gina is currently a shareholder at Hill, Ward, Henderson and specializes in land use and real estate. Her practice includes representation of both public and private-sector clients in land use, development and permit matters. 


Gina formerly served as Chief Assistant City Attorney and City Council Attorney for the City of Tampa for 18 years. She has a broad base of experience in local government matters relating to the Sunshine Law, public records law, and sovereign immunity. Gina’s tenure with the City of Tampa was during a time of substantial growth and development, providing her with extensive experience in all areas of land use, including land use litigation, Development of Regional Impacts (DRIs), comprehensive planning, zoning, subdivisions, impact fees, development design regulations, historic preservation, concurrency, and building and permitting regulatory issues. 


In the private sector, Gina has represented both large and small clients in all aspects of the land use entitlement and development approval process. Additionally, as part of Hill, Ward, Henderson’s Government Relations practice, Gina frequently represents and counsels private sector clients regarding resolution of issues with government agencies including matters such as procurement, economic development incentives, drafting legislation, and preparation and negotiation of various agreements with government agencies. 


Gina is a member of The Florida Bar, Local Governmental Law Section and Environmental and Land Use Section, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association. She has received a variety of appointments by the Tampa City Council and the Hillsborough County Commission to serve on public boards impacting community concerns such as cultural, budgeting, economic development, and our County Charter.