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Charlottesville City Manager Chip Boyles to resign Oct. 29

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 3:12 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Manager Chip Boyles says he will be stepping down effective October 29.

City Council went into a closed session on Tuesday, October 12 to discuss and consider Boyles’ future with the city.

Boyles started his tenure in February 2021, the sixth person to do so since 2018. His resignation was announced by the city shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday.

His resignation letter said in part, “I came quickly into this position at the request of the City Council during a time of turbulence and organizational instability with the charge from you to initially stabilize the organization through filling the many open leadership positions. The initial goal was to have me serve until you could search for a permanent City Manager. I feel I have been successful in helping to stabilize the leadership and quickly boosting employee morale across the organization. This success was disrupted with my decision to change the leadership of the City Police Department.”

Boyles fired CPD Chief RaShall Brackney in September, and recently appointed a new assistant police chief after James Mooney announced his retirement.

The letter continues with, “I continue to support my decision taken on this matter, but the public vitriol associated with this decision of a few vocal community members and the broken relationship with Mayor Walker have severely limited my ability to be productive toward the goals of City Council. The public disparagement shown by several community members and Mayor Walker has begun to negatively effect my personal health & well-being. Continuation of the personal and professional attacks that are occurring are not good for the city, for other city staff, for me or for my family. Therefore, it is best that I resign effective the end of this month.”

After the closed session, Walker went on Facebook Live and said: “In the entire closed session, it’s like ‘Oh my God, we’re so sad that you’re leaving, Nikuyah you’re so toxic.’... not ‘what this person has done? Why the chief was fired?’”

Boyles’ stint as city manager began with an unusual search, conducted mostly during closed sessions. When Boyles was named as the successor to Acting City Manager John Blair, the goal was clear. “City council must directly confront the causes of the instability within city government,” read the city’s press release of Boyles’ hiring.

Boyles has made a few hires, namely Deputy City Managers Ashley Marshall and Sam Sanders, though Chief Brackney’s termination was his most consequential personnel decision.

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