After 16 months on the job, Charlottesville’s city manager has resigned. His tenure has been plagued by internal battles, but he walks away with a substantial payment for his troubles.
By mutual agreement, Tarron Richardson and Charlottesville City Council are parting ways. Richardson’s tenure as city manager was controversial, prompting some resignations at City Hall, including that of the fire chief.
Mayor Nikuya Walker admitted during a special meeting of City Council Friday that the on-going drama was difficult. “We’ll do the best we can and hope that at some point in the near future someone will find Charlottesville an attractive place to be employed and help us grow and work through some of our challenges,” she told reporters.
Richardson said the job was exhausting. "We worked through COVID, and then -- with the untimely death of George Floyd -- we started having a number of protests and things like that," Richardson recalled. "Working day in and day out takes a toll on you mentally and physically.”
He leaves with a severance package worth one year’s pay -- $205,000 – and on-going health insurance. His plan for the future: "I just want to get some sleep.”
The city says it will employ an executive search company to help find a new manager. Mayor Walker said she hopes a new manager can begin a period of greater stability. “Hopefully at some point there will be more trust within the community relationships, and we’ll have a healthier environment.”
In the meantime, city attorney John Blair will fill the post.