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Charlotteville Loses Another City Manager

Chip Boyles
Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
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Boyles cited public attacks and a broken trust with Mayor Nikuya Walker in announcing his resignation.

Chip Boyles had solid management experience with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission when he was hired in February. City council asked him to bring some stability to local government and to improve morale. This week he claimed he’d achieved those goals, but in a letter read by councilor Lloyd Snook, he said the decision to fire Police Chief RaShall Brackney had brought an angry response from some residents.

“The public disparagement shown by several community members and Mayor Walker has begun to negatively affect my personal health and well-being. Continuation of the personal and professional attacks that are occurring are not good for the city or other city staff, for me or for my family, therefore it is best that I resign effective the end of this month."

At the end of a council meeting last week, Mayor Nikuya Walker played part of a telephone call she had secretly recorded with Boyles. Snook says Walker had used that tactic before.

“A number of the counselors made a personal decision many months ago that they weren’t going to talk to the mayor on the phone anymore. I personally did not. I talked to the mayor from time to time, but I also frankly assumed that I was being recorded. Whatever trust anyone may have had in her has vanished.”

As Charlottesville starts its search for Boyle’s replacement, Snook says two deputy managers, hired a few months ago, will hold down the fort, but he’s concerned about complicated jobs like crafting a budget.

“Neither of our deputy city managers were here during the last budget time. One of our two budget stallwarts, Ryan Davidson, has moved over to Albemarle County, so he's not with us."

Deputy Manager Ashley Marshall was hired from Lynchburg last spring. She had served as director of the YMCA there. Deputy Director Sam Sanders arrived this summer from Baton Rouge, where he worked for a non-profit dedicated to providing affordable housing. Boyles is the fifth manager the city has had in the last three years.