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Stoney announces appointment of new Richmond building commissioner after Carangelo's sudden departure
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Stoney announces appointment of new Richmond building commissioner after Carangelo's sudden departure

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20210825_MET_WILD

A cyclist makes their way towards downtown on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at in Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond has a new acting head of building permits and inspections.

Mayor Levar Stoney’s administration announced the appointment of David Alley III as the city’s acting Commissioner of Buildings late Friday without an explanation for the sudden departure of the former commissioner, Jason Carangelo, whom the mayor hired two years ago.

Jim Nolan, a spokesman for the mayor, said Carangelo’s last day with the city was Friday, but declined to say whether he resigned or was fired before the city announced the appointment of Alley as his successor.

Alley, who has worked for the city since 2002, will now oversee the city’s Office of Permitting and Inspection Division, which also includes Property Maintenance and Code Enforcement.

“David has the private and public sector experience that is essential to meeting the challenges and demands of managing a building division in a rapidly growing city,” Stoney said in the news release. “I look forward to his leadership in this new role at this important time.”

Prior to his promotion last week, Alley was program and operations manager for inspections, a role for which he was paid $85,000 annually. Alley will now make $125,000 as the acting building commissioner, which is $1,000 more than Carangelo’s annual salary, according to Nolan.

Nolan said Carangelo is entitled to a payout for his remaining paid time off in accordance with administrative regulations. He said officials did not immediately have the amount calculated.

Stoney originally hired Carangelo from Savannah, Ga., in 2019 to help improve the efficiency of Richmond’s permit and inspection offices as new construction and growth has increased the division’s workload. The city news release says substantial investment and development interest continues to place “a premium on timely and efficient permitting, plan review, building and code enforcement inspections.”

Several mayoral candidates last fall vowed to improve the division, noting public complaints about the city’s permitting processes and turnaround time.

The Office of the City Auditor earlier this year found several issues within the Property Maintenance Code Enforcement Division that’s overseen by the building commissioner, issuing a dozen recommendations to improve enforcement efforts, data collection and retention, performance tracking and fee collections.

The audit report, which will be reviewed by the city’s Audit Committee on Tuesday, says the city administration and division had agreed to policy changes and other recommendations from the city’s auditors.

Nolan declined to say whether the audit precipitated a decision by the mayor’s administration to terminate Carangelo.

His turnover marks the departure of another high-level official in City Hall as Stoney’s fifth year as mayor nears a close.

The city in May announced Sheila White as director of the city’s Finance Department, after the former director left for a job with Henrico County Public Schools earlier in the year. The mayor then recently promoted Jason May as the city’s budget director after his predecessor, Jay Brown, left for a job with Hanover County in June.

The administration also recently announced the permanent appointment of Mona Adkins-Easley as director of the Department of Human Resources, more than a year after she was hired as the third interim director for the department during Stoney’s tenure.

The administration earlier in the year promoted Kevin Vonck to replace longtime planning department and development review chief Mark Olinger after his sudden departure in January. Vonck, whom the city hired last year as a deputy director, remains acting director of the department.

Stoney’s former chief of staff, Lincoln Saunders, is slated to formally become the city’s chief administrative officer. The mayor promoted him to the role in an acting capacity after interim CAO Lenora Reid suffered a medical emergency late last year.

Reid, who officially retired from the city earlier this month, replaced former CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn in 2019 after the mayor fired her in the wake of a nepotism scandal involving the hire of several of her relatives.

A City Council resolution to consent to the mayor’s pick for the next CAO was introduced last week, but has not been scheduled for a final vote.

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