Sanders names new Deputy City Manager; Thomas to be permanent fire chief

The empty seat for Deputy City Manager for Operations in Charlottesville did not stay vacant long. City Manager Sam Sanders has appointed Steven Hicks as the replacement for the position he held for two years before getting the top position. 

Sanders has also named interim chief Michael Thomas as the permanent head of the Charlottesville Fire Department. 

Hicks is a former town administrator of Front Royal who has worked for the city as a Senior Transportation Project Manager for a few months. He’s also been town manager of Selma, North Carolina. 

“Steven has over thirty years in position in state and local government including time with [the Virginia Department of Transportation] so he’ll spend a great deal of energy working on all of the many things I used to come and talk to you about, but he’ll have better answers I can tell you that now.” 

Hicks starts work in the new position tomorrow. Since working for the city, Sanders has worked to get transportation projects moving. 

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Michael Thomas has been serving as interim fire chief since last October following the resignation of Hezedean Smith. Thomas had been with the Lynchburg Fire Department before starting work in Charlottesville as a deputy chief for risk reduction in June 2022. 

“He’s been a stabilizing force for the department and I did ask the Chief if he would say a few words,” Sanders said. 

“I’m humbled and excited about the opportunity to continue to lead the Charlottesville Fire Department as the fire chief,” said Chief Thomas. “I’ve learned a lot over the last ten months in the interim role and I’m committed to the community and equally committed to the department members.” 

Michael Thomas (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

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