The position of Winston-Salem’s interim city manager will change hands, again.
On Monday, Assistant City Manager Patrice Toney was chosen to fill the role in a 6-2 vote by the city’s council members. Toney assumes her duties on Aug. 25 until the arrival of Manassas City Manager Pat Pate, who will start his job as city manager on or around Nov. 6.
Toney has worked with the city since 2016 and has more than 25 years of experience in local government between her work with the Winston-Salem Police Department, Forsyth County and the city.
The current interim, Johnnie Taylor, is leaving his post to become the city manager of Lexington. Taylor has been an assistant city manager since July 2021 and interim city manager since June. The former city manager Lee Garrity retired in June and the announcement was made in January, but the process to select a new city manager did not come to a close until July 14 when Pate was tapped for the role in a 5-3 vote. Mayor Pro Tempore Denise D. Adams, Jeff MacIntosh, Robert C. Clark, John Larson and Kevin Mundy voted in favor of Pate’s nomination, but Toney was the choice of Council Members Barbara Hanes Burke, Annette Scippio and James Taylor, Jr.
Pate’s selection was fraught with discord as leaders from the local NAACP and Ministers’ Conference and Vicinity pushed back against the council’s decision in favor of Toney.
“We all know that the city of Winston-Salem has never allowed the opportunity for a woman, yet a woman of color to occupy this position,” the NAACP stated.
What happened on Monday?
Monday’s original vote read six ayes, while Jeff MacIntosh voted no and Denise D. Adams abstained. However, City Attorney Angela Carmon told Adams that she could not abstain from the vote.
According to the city’s code of ordinances, if a council member needs to be excused from voting on an item before city council, the council member must “ask to be excused from voting and city council must vote to excuse said member from voting.” Otherwise, if a council member is present but does not vote, the council member’s vote will be recorded as a yes.
“Can I change it?” Adams asked.
“You’ll be shown as a yes, unless you want to change?” Joines said.
“Change it,” Adams replied quickly.
“How would you like to vote, then?” Carmon asked.
Adams replied that she wished to vote no.
Toney, who currently makes $163,331, will receive a 10 percent raise during her tenure as interim city manager.
Out of all the assistant city managers, Toney’s salary is the lowest — despite the fact that she has been an assistant city manager longer than Aaron King and the same amount of time as Johnnie Taylor.
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