Christiansburg leaders are one step closer to naming a new town manager. Tuesday night, council met behind closed doors for several hours following the completion of their regularly scheduled meeting.
Mayor Michael Barber said the timetable has not changed.
“We plan to name a new town manager by the end of the month (October),” he wrote in an email Wednesday.
In the past, council had employed a private search company to put together a pool of candidates. This time, the town has whittled through the applicants on their own. The group has met at least five times in work session to discuss the opening.
The position came open with the sudden death earlier this year of Steve Biggs, who had been on the job for less than a year.
A short time later, council appointed current Assistant Town Manager Randy Wingfield, who has been with the town for 19 years, as interim town manager. Wingfield has applied for the position but it is not known whether he is amongst the final pool discussed at the meeting.
Council made no announcement, and didn’t take any action when they came out of Tuesday’s closed session.
They will reconvene in a formal meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24, just two weeks before a the town council election takes place.
Earlier in the night, several council members congratulated longtime Public Works employee Todd Walters who is leaving the area to become the town manager in New Market.
In other matters, council reversed its decision to support a resolution to the Virginia General Assembly that could change the funding formula for the regional 911 center. Initially, the group said it would not support the change as it could drastically affect the town and what it pays to the center.
The formula change would be based on the number of total calls received from each locality—Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Virginia Tech and Montgomery County. Recent call numbers showed a larger than expected amount from Christiansburg.
Originally the regional group was formed with each locality providing an equal share of the funding. When voting down the resolution last month, council said it felt the other three entities would vote yes and Christiansburg would be left holding the bag or in this case a higher amount, estimated already to cost the town over $80,000 more a year.
Currently that amount allocated by the town is around $880,000 annually.
The decision for a second vote on the resolution came after the regional board made an amendment that requires all four of the localities having to vote yes on any formula change. Thus, Christiansburg would have “veto” power if and when a formal vote is taken on any change.
The resolution allows the matter to be voted on at the next General Assembly when the regional board does come up with an agreeable call total.
The request will now be passed along to local legislators with hopes it could make it to the floor for a vote sometime early next year.