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Marc Woolley withdraws from interim city manager position

Woolley was appointed interim city manager after former city manager Chip Boyles’ resignation

Woolley was Charlottesville’s sixth city manager since 2018.
Woolley was Charlottesville’s sixth city manager since 2018.

Marc Woolley, the newly-appointed interim city manager of Charlottesville, has withdrawn less than a month after accepting the position. 

Woolley gave verbal notification of his withdrawal Nov. 21 and sent a short letter to Mayor Nikuyah Walker Nov. 23 informing her and other City Council members of his decision. 

“I am writing to inform you and your fellow council members that after careful consideration and in consultation with my family, I am withdrawing my application to become the Interim City Manager of the City of Charlottesville,” the letter reads. “This was not an easy decision for me and I want to thank the Charlottesville City Council for the opportunity and wish the residents of Charlottesville all the best.”

City Council discussed Woolley’s withdrawal and future options during a closed session meeting Tuesday that lasted over three hours. 

City Councilor Heather Hill said the City is seeking to work with a firm that can provide interim city manager services until their search for a permanent city manager takes place in April. 

Woolley was appointed interim city manager during a special meeting of the Council Nov. 5 after former city manager Chip Boyles’ resigned Oct. 12. Boyles’ resignation followed tension surrounding his firing of former Charlottesville Police Department chief RaShall Brackney, the city’s first Black female police chief.

Boyles cited a survey from the Virginia Police Benevolent Association showing a lack of support from leadership within the police department as a reason for his decision to fire Brackney. The decision worsened his relationship with Mayor Nikuyah Walker, who said the incident was the “last straw” in her decision not to run for reelection. 

During the special meeting when he was appointed interim city manager, Woolley said one of his goals was to try and address some of the dynamics that have caused the pattern of unprecedented turnovers in city leadership. 

"I'd like to be able to further understand the complexity of the relationship between the workers, employees and management and get to know why there may be some discord and causing people in my position to leave and I'd like to see if we could address that in some way,” Woolley had said.

He also noted that he anticipated applying for the permanent city manager position in the spring. Woolley was Charlottesville’s sixth city manager since 2018.

More information will be available in the coming two weeks, Hill said.