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Document Viewer Virginia city council appoints city manager, then reverses
Source: AP - AP Wire Service
Jan 13 08:25

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) _ Ignoring a national search effort for a new city manager, the Portsmouth City Council voted to hire a former councilman for the job, then immediately backpedaled and voted against his appointment since he never submitted an application.

The council ultimately voted 4-3 to reopen the job application until Jan. 20, news outlets reported. More than 70 people had already applied when the deadline closed in November.

Mayor Shannon Glover, who defeated Danny Meeks in last year's mayoral race, said he opposed Meeks' appointment because he doesn't meet the qualifications, which include a bachelors' degree and seven years of executive experience in an area that resembles the city's government. He said his former opponent's appointment to the position would be ``the worst situation for the City of Portsmouth.''

Meeks does not have a college degree. He previously told The Virginian Pilot that he went into business after high school. He now owns a waste and recycling company, the newspaper said.

The council also hasn't yet received a final report from the recruiting group, which it paid to do the national search at a cost of more than $22,000.

Councilman Paul Battle supported Meeks' appointment, calling him a successful businessman who has experience with the city.

Meeks, who was elected to the council in 2012, resigned in 2016 before his term ended. If he gets the job, he would replace former City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton, who resigned in September amid controversy over charges filed against a Black state senator and several others in connection to the vandalism of a Confederate monument. Those charges were later dismissed.

AP-WF-01-13-21 1325GMT

Received Id AP1210135229AE17 on Jan 13 2021 08:30