Updated: Councilors Appoint Mike Murphy as Charlottesville's Interim City Manager
City Council has voted 3-0 to appoint Mike Murphy as interim city manager as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 31.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Assistant City Manager Mike Murphy is Charlottesville’s new interim city manager.
Councilors Kathy Galvin, Wes Bellamy, and Mike Signer met behind closed doors at City Hall around 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 31 to discuss the matter of who would fulfill the role being vacated by current City Manager Maurice Jones. Mayor Nikuyah Walker and Vice Mayor Heather Hill participated in the discussion via phone since they are out of town.
Galvin, Bellamy, and Signer voted 3-0 to appoint Murphy as interim city manager as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Tuesday is also Jones’ last day on the job with Charlottesville. He is headed for Chapel Hill, North Carolina as the new town manager.
In the event someone had not been named by midnight, the city's line of succession would have gone into effect: Assistant City Manager Leslie Beauregard, Murphy, Charlottesville Fire Chief Andrew Baxter, and then Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney.
After external candidate Sidney Zemp turned down an offer to be interim city manager, two internal candidates emerged: Murphy and Beauregard.
Sources tell NBC29 that Charlottesville had been in negotiations with Murphy, and that Beauregard had been in the running for the job until sometime last week.
Murphy is the point person for the city's preparations for the weekend of August 10-12, dates now associated with violence and controversy in Charlottesville.
"Our public safety community has been preparing for this for, in earnest, for six months and they have done everything possible to ensure public safety that weekend. And we certainly hope that is the case August 10, 11, and 12. I also look forward to the work that's ahead for both the council and our community to be better after the 12th," said Murphy.
"We now have a full complement for our August 12th planning and operations team," Councilor Kathy Galvin said.
Over the past month, Murphy has been part of a team briefing the community about security plans and expectations for the anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in the downtown area.
"He [Murphy] has been doing a great job trying to learn some of the lessons from last year and apply them into a much more, into a better strategy for the city," said councilor Signer.
Jones declined NBC29’s offer to be interviewed about his tenure and departure.