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Petersburg City Council names new city manager

Petersburg City Council names new city manager

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The Petersburg City Council unanimously selected Stuart Turille Jr. as the city’s next manager during a Tuesday council meeting.

Turille, who currently serves as deputy county administrator in Essex County, is slated to begin July 1. Serving in that position since October 2018, Turille has worked on economic development, budgets, strategic planning and risk management for Essex County, according to a release.

“Our city council is excited to welcome Mr. Turille to Petersburg,” Mayor Sam Parham said in a statement Tuesday. “With the progress of our community in mind, we are confident in our selection and look forward to working with Mr. Turille in continuing to move the City of Petersburg forward.”

Former Petersburg City Manager Aretha Ferrell-Benavides left in February after taking the helm in July 2017, when the city was on the brink of financial collapse. Ferrell-Benavides moved to Texas to become the new city manager for Duncanville.

In an interview last fall, Ferrell-Benavides said she accomplished her goal of restoring financial stability after the city teetered on bankruptcy. This past summer, the city announced that it had ended the 2018-19 fiscal year with a roughly $8 million fund balance, the largest in over a decade.

In 2016, the city ran a deficit of $7.7 million. City leaders shuttered historic sites, eliminated positions from City Hall, cut departmental budgets and public school system funding to get by.

Turille said in a statement that his mission is to realize the city’s full potential.

“I know that this city has tremendous potential, and my mission will be to realize it to the fullest,” said Turille, who grew up in Lynchburg. “The expectations of citizens regarding the role of local government have changed; government must change to meet them.”

Before working in Essex County, Turille was the town manager in North Topsail Beach, N.C., and town administrator for the Town of St. Pauls, N.C.| Twitter: @jessmnocera


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