The town of South Boston is hiring an assistant town manager.
Town council at its Monday evening meeting at the Washington Coleman Community Center voted unanimously to approve a budget amendment that included $85,178 in funding for the assistant town manager position for the remaining nine months of the fiscal year.
Councilman Thomas “Tommy” Elliott made a motion to approve the budget amendment, and vice-mayor Bob Hughes seconded the motion.
The amendment allocating funding for the assistant town manager position includes the cost of recruiting applicants to fill the position, as well as the salary, benefits package and a computer for the new town employee.
The advertised salary for the assistant town manager is within the range of $55,000 to $93,000 per year, depending on “experience and qualifications.”
The deadline to apply for the position is Oct. 15.
Town manager Tom Raab said town council had been encouraging him to hire an assistant town manager for a while. South Boston has not had an assistant town manager since long before Raab became the town manager in January 2016.
In recent discussions of the need to hire an assistant town manager, Raab told council in an Aug. 13 strategic planning session that he needs assistance with applying for grants for the town and with major projects such as the John Randolph Hotel renovation.
A brief discussion about advertising the assistant town manager position followed council’s approval of the budget amendment at Monday’s meeting.
Councilwoman Sharon Harris recommended advertising the position on the career-building social media platform LinkedIn.
“The greater the pool (of applicants), the better,” Harris commented.
Mayor Ed Owens asked if there is an association of town managers, and suggested advertising the assistant town manager position in the association’s newsletter.
Although Raab has never officially had an assistant town manager, he credits longtime town clerk Jane Jones with essentially filling that role.
“Jane Jones does payroll, human resources, council minutes and wears many other hats,” Raab said. “I couldn’t have done it all without her help.”
Raab said he too wears “a lot of hats” as the town manager.
The town manager also noted the town currently has a number of major projects that require his attention, including construction of the SOVA Innovation Hub, a partnership between Microsoft Corporation and Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, and construction of the addition to the South Boston Fire Department, both of which are slated to be completed by the end of October.
The town manager also is working with the Southside Outreach Group on the Poplar Creek Homes Project, a housing development for low-to-middle-income families.
Aside from all the projects, the town manager serves as director of the town’s Industrial Development Authority board. He said he looks forward to having an assistant town manager to “tag team” attending meetings and tackling the day-to-day operations of the town.
In addition to appropriating funding for the assistant town manager position, the budget amendment approved by council at Monday’s meeting also includes funding for COVID-19 grant funds, North Main Street paving Virginia Department Of Transportation funding, early repayment on an Imperial Loft loan, a North Main Street Housing Project planning grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and Riverdale Boat Ramp Project grant from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The budget amendment increases the town’s general fund budget revenues and expenditures to $16,169,013.
In another matter of business, town council appointed a new member to fill a vacancy on the Industrial Development Authority board. Hughes recommended appointing applicant Kathryn Roberts, CFO and corporate business manager at Rob Land Development & Construction, Inc. to fill the position on the board. The vice-mayor’s recommendation met with unanimous approval from council.