Top Alexandria city manager candidate named

The current city manager of Greensboro, N.C., is Alexandria’s top pick for its vacant city manager position, Mayor William D. Euille (D) announced Thursday.

Rashad Young, 35, has worked in Greensboro for the past two years, after spending three years as city manager in Dayton, Ohio, where he was also assistant city manager and director of human resources.

His work in Greensboro included dealing with multimillion-dollar budget deficits, a divisive City Council and the departure of the city attorney, who had followed Young to North Carolina from Ohio and who left when the council took management of her position away from Young.

The City Council is negotiating a contract with Young, and a formal announcement could be made Saturday.

Officials in Greensboro said he was well-liked by citizen groups and business organizations for his strong leadership style. But the city has also weathered complaints against the Greensboro Police Department by black officers who sued over allegations of discrimination. Young came in for criticism by speakers at the last Greensboro City Council meeting for his handling of the complaints, but he and council members noted that the city manager is responsible for personnel matters there.

“He’s a fine young man with a lot of energy. Everyone thinks a lot of him,” said former mayor Jim Melvin, who runs a locally prominent foundation. “He’s a consensus builder, which is what that job is all about. A no-nonsense kind of person, a good listener; I predict he will be well-received.”

The Alexandria job, which pays between $190,000 and $225,000, has been vacant since May, when James Hartmann left to work for Seminole County, Fla. Bruce Johnson, Alexandria’s chief financial officer has been acting city manager since May. He was not a candidate for the manager’s job.

According to his biography on Greensboro’s Web site, Young reorganized departments and divisions, created an economic development and business support office, and “allowed residents a front row seat to watch how the City uses their tax dollars to improve the community.”

Young has an undergraduate business degree and an MBA from the University of Dayton. He is a member of the executive board of the Urban Libraries Council, the International City/County Management Association and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. If he’s hired, he would be Alexandria’s first African American city manager.

Patricia Sullivan seeks out news about Alexandria and Arlington County for the Washington Post.
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