With less than a month until she takes office, D.C. Mayor-elect Muriel E. Bowser is set to start unveiling her choices to run the District government Tuesday, naming Alexandria’s top executive as her city administrator.
Rashad M. Young, 38, who has served as Alexandria city manager for the past three years, will step into the job after Bowser is inaugurated Jan. 2.
The transition office disclosed Bowser’s plans Monday evening to The Washington Post.
“Rashad has a track record of success, the experience to get results, and the energy to execute my ambitious agenda for all eight wards,” Bowser (D) said in a statement. “Our approach to governing is straightforward: using the best practices, technology and talent to deliver services efficiently to the residents and businesses of Washington, D.C.”
In moving from Alexandria to the District, Young will have a much larger staff and much more responsibility. The Virginia city employs about 3,700 and has a $624 million local operating budget. The District government employs nearly 35,000 and has a local budget in excess of $6 billion yearly.
Young, Alexandria’s first African American city manager, was widely rumored to be in line for a federal job earlier this fall.
As the city’s executive, Young is credited with tightening up processes and procedures, stopping across-the-board pay raises for city employees, and cutting 33 city jobs last spring. He also negotiated a $5 million buyout of the Old Dominion Boat Club on Alexandria’s waterfront, which allowed a long-planned and contentious waterfront redevelopment plan to move forward.
Young will replace Allen Y. Lew, who handled a number of high-profile projects for outgoing Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), including negotiations with the D.C. United pro soccer team that culminated in plans to make way for a $300 million soccer stadium that were approved by the D.C. Council this month.
Lew also played a lead role in planning several other large-scale projects, including a $1 billion joint venture between the city and Pepco to bury troublesome power lines and an ambitious effort with D.C. Water to end sewer flooding in the Bloomingdale neighborhood by accelerating plans for a storage tunnel in the area.
Lew was less known for managing the day-to-day operations of government.
The Gray administration ditched an accountability system known as CapStat that had been a pet project of predecessor Adrian M. Fenty (D). That model pushed agencies to set ambitious, measurable goals and closely track progress toward those goals in concert with analysts in the mayor’s office. Agency management under Lew has been less rigorously structured, giving directors more freedom to run their departments.
Bowser may seek to move the District government back to the Fenty model. In Alexandria, Young established an Office of Performance and Accountability, according to a city biography, to “develop a culture and practice of performance management and data-driven decision making.”
In a statement provided by the Bowser transition team, Young said he has been charged with “helping to form a more transparent, accountable city government that delivers the best municipal services on time and on budget.”
In 2011, Young was hired at a salary of $245,000. Lew’s salary is $295,000. The post of city administrator is not subject to D.C. Council approval.
Bowser aides could not say Monday whether Lew would be offered another position inside the D.C. government.
Young has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Dayton. He is married to Tameka Jones-Young, has two children and resides in Alexandria. He was previously city manager of Greensboro, N.C., and Dayton, Ohio.
Other appointments will be announced before Christmas, the Bowser aides said.
The rollout of Bowser’s nominees was delayed, they said, by the Nov. 23 death of former mayor Marion Barry (D), which dominated attention in the District the past two weeks. “She wanted to be respectful,” one aide said.
Bowser has committed to keeping two agency heads: D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. Other key Gray administration personnel could be asked to stay on temporarily or permanently, she said after winning election on Nov. 4.
Patricia Sullivan contributed to this report.