Though the process to hire Charlottesville’s next City Manager happened mostly behind closed doors, the public will have a chance to ask questions to the City Council’s chosen candidate on Thursday.
The City announced on Monday that Sam Sanders will hold a “Meet your City Manager Town Hall” on July 20, 5 to 7 p.m. at Carver Recreation Center, 233 4th Street NW in Charlottesville (in the Jefferson School City Center building). The event will also be streamed online via this link. Sanders will only answer questions received in advance, the clerk of council told Charlottesville Tomorrow by email. They did not respond to a question about why they would not take questions at the event. To submit a question, email email@example.com by noon on Thursday, July 20.
Sanders was promoted after two years as deputy city manager; his hiring was announced in a special City Council session last week. Mayor Lloyd Snook said that stability was the most repeated concern from constituents; Sanders will be the sixth person to hold the position of City Manager in six years.
In 2020, Tarron Richardson resigned after managing the city through the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the protests that occurred after the murder of George Floyd. After Richardson’s departure, then-mayor Nikuyah Walker said that she hoped the internal working conditions for future city employees would improve.
“Hopefully, at some point, there will be more trust within the community relationships, and there will be a healthier spirit within our internal workings and that it will come together and that we’ll have a healthier environment,” Walker said.
Chip Boyles then started in the position in February 2021, but resigned just a few months later, in October,because of “public vitriol” after he fired the Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney.
Before coming to Charlottesville, Sanders spent 15 years as the executive director of Mid City Redevelopment Alliance in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The nonprofit organization works on affordable housing and, when Sanders left in 2021, had a budget close to $2 million per year according to its tax filings.
As City Manager of Charlottesville, Sanders will have administrative power, the executive-level authority to enact City Council’s policies and goals, and oversee an almost $230 million budget.
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More about Charlottesville’s City Managers
After a closed-door selection process, Charlottesville City Council promotes a deputy city manager to the top job
Sam Sanders is set to become Charlottesville’s sixth city manager in six years.
“I have to be clear that I do not have administrative power,” Councilor Lloyd Snook said. Neither did recent Mayor Nikuyah Walker or Mike Signer before her.
Following a closed session Tuesday afternoon, Charlottesville City Council accepted the resignation letter of City Manager Chip Boyles — 10 months after announcing his hire.
Citing personal reasons, Charlottesville’s city manager, Tarron Richardson, resigned his position Friday.
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