Assistant City Manager Johnnie Taylor has been tapped to be Winston-Salem’s interim city manager, according to city documents regarding a special meeting of the city council to be held on Friday.
The city’s current City Manager Lee Garrity will retire on June 23. According to the city, the process for hiring the next city manager will not be completed before then, so the need to appoint an interim city manager has arisen. Garrity has worked for the city for more than 32 years and will retire from his post as city manager after 17 years in the role.
Taylor joined the city in 1992 and previously served as traffic maintenance supervisor, sanitation director and operations director. Taylor was promoted to assistant city manager in July 2021 and oversees Central Warehouse, Employee Safety, Fleet Services, Operations Coordinator, Recreation & Parks, Human Resources, Information Systems, Property & Facilities Management, Sanitation and Sustainability.
Friday’s agenda states that Taylor has agreed to serve until the new city manager is hired. Taylor will also receive a 10-percent increase in pay for his new role.
Taylor is staying humble until the decision has been officially made by city councilmembers.
“You never know, it’s just not official until they agree upon it,” he told TCB.
Taylor said that while he was “uncertain” about how long he might be in the role until the baton is passed, he thinks the process for hiring the next city manager will “soon be completed.”
When leaf pickup was delayed this past season by a perfect storm of malfunctioning equipment and poor weather that aligned with the timing of leaf fall, Taylor discussed the city’s efforts with councilmembers to combat the so-called “leaf situation” during a March 20 city council meeting. The city had been operating at about 50 percent of their equipment force due to vehicle breakdowns, said Taylor, who then presented new automated leaf loading equipment that should make leaf collection run more smoothly this fall. The purchase was approved by councilmembers.
Taylor noted to councilmembers that the city is working on improving the process to be more effective in the future and that the leaf map will be redesigned.
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