After months of closed-door meetings, Charlottesville City Council is lifting the curtain and shedding some light on the three finalists competing to serve as the next city manager.

On Tuesday, March 5, the names of those three candidates were released, and on Wednesday night the public will be invited to sit in on the next round of interviews.

The city says this sort of public interview process is pretty unprecedented, but councilors felt the need to offer transparency to the community about who they will ultimately vote to take over the seat at the dais that Mike Murphy currently holds on an interim basis.

“Hiring a city manager is one of the most important decisions that a council can make,” Councilor Heather Hill said.

After more than seven months, Charlottesville City Council has narrowed its search for the next city manager down to what city officials call three highly qualified candidates.

“They wouldn’t be at this point in the process, they would not have been selected by the executive recruiter and by council if they weren't qualified,” Brian Wheeler, the city’s communications director, said.

All three candidates have ties to central Virginia.

Michael Mallinoff, who most recently worked as the county administrator of Charles County, Maryland, attended the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Policy at the University of Virginia.

Theodore Voorhees is also a Weldon Cooper alumnus.

He's currently the county administrator for Powhatan County, Virginia.

And the third candidate, Tarron Richardson, served as the deputy director of Richmond from 2006 to 2009 and is currently the city manager of Desoto, Texas.

“Council has already had one round of interviews with the candidates that we’re now bringing forward to the public, and we’ve narrowed down to these three finalists,” Hill said.

On Wednesday, March 6, City Council will invite community members to sit in on the next round of interviews.

“I think this is pretty unusual for a city to go to this level to engage these candidates,” Wheeler said. “It’s really important for them to be transparent, to share their complete backgrounds, we don’t want any surprises as a city and our public doesn’t want any surprises.”

Following the interviews, candidates will host a two-hour meet-and-greet with the public where they’ll personally introduce themselves and answering any questions people may have.

“There’s certainly a demand for transparency and as much as this is certainly council’s decision ultimately, we want the community to have a chance to weigh in because this person is not going to just be the partner council is working with, but they’re going to be leading the city,” Hill said.

The public interviews will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Jefferson School. The interviews will also be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page.

Candidates are also set to meet with select city staff members on Thursday.

03/05/2019 Release from Charlottesville:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Charlottesville City Council will interview three candidates for the city's next City Manager on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.

The public is invited to observe each interview at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and to meet the candidates afterwards during an open house opportunity.

- Michael Mallinoff, Glen Arm, MD
- Tarron Richardson, DeSoto, TX
- Theodore Voorhees, Powhatan, VA
Download the applicants' resumes

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center
233 4th St NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903

- City Council Interviews (35 minutes each) - 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. - The public is invited to observe in the Jefferson School Auditorium.
- Meet and Greet for public with candidates - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. - Light refreshments will be available.

The City Council interviews will be live streamed on the city's Facebook page, on the city's website at and a link to the recorded video will be shared on the city's website and via social media.

City Council gave serious consideration to seven of the 37 applicants and interviewed four candidates on February 20, 2019. Three finalists have been invited back for a public process. In addition to the public interviews by Council and community Meet & Greet, finalists will also be meeting with staff and community panels during March 6-7.