By Carla Branch
City Manager Rashad Young took the reins of government in Alexandria on Dec. 12, and has already reorganized his senior staff. He has selected the City’s Chief Financial Officer Bruce Johnson to be his chief of staff, a new position.
Young explained the reorganization in Jan. 6, memorandum to City Council. “These changes to the reporting and liaison relationships among the departments and the city manager’s office are being made to create reporting relationships that are more thematic and support a ‘line of business’ structure among operating staff agencies and the senior manager who works with them, as well as increase accountability and performance across the organization,” Young wrote. “I also want to emphasize that these changes create an organizational structure that can help reinforce our ability to focus on implementing Council’s strategic goals and objectives.”
As the new chief of staff, Johnson will assist Young during his transition to focus on the docket preparation process, coordinate Council work session activities and supervise legislative liaison activities and management of responses to public inquiries received by Council and referred to staff. Johnson, who served as Alexandria’s acting city manager from May, 2011, when Jim Hartmann left, until Dec. 12, when Young arrived, plans to retire at the end of fiscal year 2013.
Deputy City Manager Michele Evans will focus on public safety activities. Police Chief Earl Cook, Fire Chief Adam Thiel, Director of Emergency Communications Joanne Monroe, Director of Human Rights Jean Niebauer and Director of General Services Jeremy McPike will report directly to her. She will also serve as the liaison to the courts, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, the sheriff, other law enforcement and judicial organizations and the office of the registrar.
Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks will focus on development and planning related activities. Planning and Zoning Director Farroll Hamer, Transportation and Environmental Services Director Rich Baier, Director of Code Administration John Catlett, Office of Housing Director Mildrilyn Davis and Office of Historic Alexandria Director Lance Mallamo will report directly to him. Jinks will serve as the liaison to the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association, the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership and the Small Business Development Center.
Assistant City Manager Debra Collins will focus on human and social services and youth related activities. Director of Community and Human Services Mike Gillmore and Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Activities Jim Spengler will report to her. Collins will serve as the liaison to the Alexandria health department, the library system and the Alexandria City Public School system.
Assistant City Manager Tom Gates will continue to lead management improvement initiatives including the linkage of Council’s strategic plan with the City budget and the development of a new departmental work planning process. The director of information technology services and the director of internal audit will report to him.
Laura Triggs will continue as acting chief financial officer. The director of the office of management and budget, the director of finance and the director of real estate assessments will report to her. After the FY2013 budget process is completed, Young will begin the process of selecting a permanent chief financial officer.
Tony Castrilli, the director of communications and public information and Cheryl Orr, the director of human resources will report to Young.