Cynthia Sontag, former city administrator

She held various jobs, including labor negotiator, at Tampa's City Hall.

By Jessica Hartman, Times Staff Writer
Published March 24, 2007

TAMPA - Cynthia "Cindy" Clark Sontag, former director of administration for the city of Tampa, died Wednesday (March 21, 2007) at the age of 62.

A direct descendant of the famed explorer William Clark of Lewis and Clark, Ms. Sontag was accomplished in various offices around the city. She was one of the first women to represent a major city as chief labor negotiator. While in office, Ms. Sontag worked to provide disability benefits and improve pension benefits for employees.

"She was very exuberant, talented and one hell of a negotiator," said University of South Florida lobbyist Kathy Betancourt, one of Sontag's closest friends and a former lobbyist for the city of Tampa. "She was abundantly good at it."

As director of administration, Ms. Sontag worked with former mayors Bob Martinez, Bill Poe and Sandy Freedman.

The cause of death has not been determined. Last month she had surgery to repair her pacemaker, Betancourt said.

Due to health problems, Ms. Sontag took an early retirement, but her role in the city did not diminish. She turned her hobby into a business as one of the first personal chefs specializing in providing quality food to people with dietary restrictions.

"She was an incredible cook," said Betancourt.

She also worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa, teaching a cooking class.

"She had an ability to help other people in everything she did," said Paddy Moses, director of communications for the Boys and Girls Club. "This is a sad day for all of us."

Throughout her life, especially in her retirement, Ms. Sontag loved to travel. She often joked that her desire to travel was a result of her ancestry. In fact, she was planning to go to Arizona next month with friends.

Survivors include two brothers, Ron Clark, South Padre Island, Texas, and Bob Clark, Mill Valley, Calif., and five nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Blount and Curry Funeral Home; 605 S MacDill Ave.