Charlottesville City Council has introduced Marc Woolley as the next interim city manager. Woolley recently resigned as Business Administrator in Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania. The city has U.S. Census 2020 population of 50,099. Deputy City Manager Ashley Marshall and Sam Sanders will remain in place.
“Together with the assistance of staff, Sam, Ashley, and Council, I will be focusing on some key issues currently before Charlottesville,” Woolley said. “Mainly the budget and the completion of the Comprehensive Plan.”
When the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Board next meets, there will be a new person representing the Virginia Department of Transportation. Sean Nelson will become the new district engineer for VDOT’s Culpeper District, which spans nine counties.
“I am honored to return to Culpeper District as the district engineer and look forward to working with our talented teams and valued community partners,” Nelson is quoted in a September 30 press release. “I was born and raised in Louisa and am now raising my family there. I am proud to come home and am committed to making a difference in this region.”
Charlottesville has a new director of the department that oversees land use and zoning within the city. James Freas will be the next Director of Neighborhood Development Services, a position that’s been held by Alexander Ikefuna for the past six years. Freas is currently the director of Community and Economic Development in the town of Natick in Massachusetts, a position he has held since November 2019. Before that, he worked in land use positions in Newton, Massachusetts. He also served four years as a city planner in Hampton from 2005 to 2009.
This will be a return to Charlottesville for Freas, who graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in psychology. He also earned a Master of Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law from the Vermont Law School.
“I am excited to be returning to Virginia and eager to get started with the City,” Freas said in a release. “There are a number of important conversations happening right now around development and zoning and I look forward to engaging with the community.”
Freas will report to Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders and begins work on September 13.
Charlottesville City Council has suspended its search for a new city manager to replace Dr. Tarron Richardson, who resigned last September.
“Council has decided to pause working with a search firm for the City Manager recruitment and is evaluating next steps to stabilize the organization over the next 12-24 months,” reads a statement from Council sent to the Daily Progress yesterday by Councilor Heather Hill. “We anticipate providing additional information to the public in advance of our next regular meeting on January 19th.”