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    Roberto to join private sector

    Clearwater's former city manager expects to start his new job with a national consulting and engineering firm in January.

    By CHRISTINA HEADRICK

    © St. Petersburg Times, published December 13, 2000


    CLEARWATER -- Former Clearwater City Manager Mike Roberto is crossing over to the private sector, taking a job with Wade-Trim Inc., a national consulting and engineering firm with an office in Tampa.

    Roberto, who resigned from the city in July, said he will work on Wade-Trim's long-term strategic planning to grow its offices nationally and particularly in Florida.

    Roberto will be one of four or five people working for the corporate side of the company to tackle such projects, said Jeff Trim, Wade Trim's senior vice president.

    And Roberto will also provide "visioning" services to municipalities who want to dream up ways to improve their communities, Trim said.

    His company wants to add those services to its offerings of civic planning, civil engineering, surveying, landscape architecture and environmental studies, he said.

    Trim said he has created a new company, Municipal Systems Consulting, to specialize in visioning and other municipal planning services.

    Roberto said he expects to start his new position in January, and he's "very excited about the opportunity at Wade-Trim."

    Wade-Trim is focused on providing services to government, and Roberto has 18 years' experience as a city manager with plenty of contacts at municipalities across the state.

    Wade-Trim also has done plenty of work for Clearwater, as one of the city's engineers of record, although Trim and Roberto say that has little bearing on Roberto joining the firm. Roberto said he won't work on Clearwater projects.

    In the fiscal year that ended in September, city financial records show, Wade-Trim received about $165,924 in payments for various services to Clearwater.

    Over the past few months, Wade-Trim has also received a $311,000 contract for the design and construction of the North Greenwood Recreation and Aquatics Center; a $296,425 contract to design improvements to North Greenwood Avenue; and a $145,000 deal to study building a monorail to Clearwater Beach.

    Meanwhile, Roberto said, since his departure from the city he has worked as an independent consultant for a technology-oriented company. He declined to be more specific.

    On a personal level, Roberto said, he has spent more time with his family, shaped up with a personal trainer and tennis lessons, and in general, relaxed.

    "There are far, far more important things in life than worrying about trying to change the things that are not easy to change," Roberto said. "I have had the best time in the last four months that I've had in my life."

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