Tarron Richardson Hits the Ground Running as Charlottesville City Manager
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Brand-new city manager Tarron Richardson is outlining his vision for Charlottesville.
He officially began on Monday, May 13, and now he’s finishing up his third day on the job.
Over the past few weeks, Richardson has been coming into town, getting his bearings, and meeting with people to prepare him to hit the ground running.
He says the past few days have been a whirlwind, but he’s now ready to get down to business and start bringing real, positive change to our city.
“This is a very vibrant community,” Richardson said. “This is a place I call a great place to live, work, and play.”
Richardson says he has a vision to make Charlottesville the best version of itself.
“To make sure this community is engaging, is as diverse as possible, and not only just talking about ethnicity but also talking about housing opportunities, business opportunities, and other things like that that will continue to bring people to the city of Charlottesville,” Richardson said.
Richardson comes to Charlottesville with 17 years of local government experience, most notably serving as the city manager of DeSoto, Texas.
But his career began right here in the commonwealth.
“My journey started to get to this point in Richmond, Virginia, and the city manager who I served under at that time, Dr. Calvin Jamerson, really prepared me,” Richardson said.
The former Lincoln University basketball standout is big on teamwork.
He values input from each member of the city government and he says his door is always open.
“When I say open door, I don't just mean in the office,” Richardson said. “That could be me meeting with them for dinner, lunch, or breakfast, and it doesn’t have to be within the city limits. I’ll go out to them to make sure that I’m really understanding what their desires and wants are.”
Richardson says his immediate goal is to get out into the community and get a real sense for where changes need to be made.
“I manage by walking around, so therefore I build that rapport with my employees to be able to talk about different things, to talk about the strengths and weaknesses that they see within their individual departments,” Richardson said.
Ultimately, he hopes to make Charlottesville as efficient as possible, and earn the recognition to back that up.
“We’re doing great things, but I want to solidify that by getting national and state accreditations for all of our departments,” Richardson said.
In just the past few days, Richardson has been very active. He’s sat in on several meetings all throughout the city in hopes of getting a better feel for how things operate.
On Tuesday night, he was at the planning commission meeting and on Wednesday he attended a Housing Advisory Committee meeting.
So he really is getting right down to business.