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.

All CityBeat reporting content is made possible by a grant from the NC Local News Lab Fund, available to republish for free by any news outlet who cares to use it. Learn More ↗

Republish this story 🞬

Republishing Content

All content created for the CityBeat— photos, illustrations and text — is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives 4.0 license (CCA-ND).

These republishing rules DO NOT apply to all of our content. The CityBeat is a nonprofit-funded position that specifically reports on city council business in Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

You are free to republish all content from the CityBeat under the following conditions:

  • Please copy and paste an html tracking code into articles you post online, allowing us to access analytics on our work.
    It can be dropped onto the page right beneath the copyable content, available below.

    If your site is using Google Analytics already:

        gtag('config', 'UA-49884744-1');
        gtag('event', 'page_view', {
            page_title: 'Patrice Toney chosen to be interim city manager of Winston-Salem until November',
            page_location: '',
            send_to: 'UA-49884744-1'

    If your site is not using Google Analytics:

    <script async src=""></script>
        window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
        function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
        gtag('js', new Date());
        gtag('config', 'UA-49884744-1');
        gtag('event', 'page_view', {
            page_title: 'Patrice Toney chosen to be interim city manager of Winston-Salem until November',
            page_location: '',
            send_to: 'UA-49884744-1'

  • Please use our bylines with attribution to Triad City Beat with a live link to our website: "by Gale Melcher/Triad City Beat"
  • At the bottom of the article (print or web) please include this text (links may be hyperlinked online):

    "Triad City Beat is an independent, for-profit news source serving the cities of the NC Piedmont Triad in Guilford and Forsyth counties, online at
    CityBeat content is funded by a grant from the NC Local News Lab Fund, online at"

  • If you have any questions, please contact Brian Clarey at [email protected]

Join the First Amendment Society, a membership that goes directly to funding TCB‘s newsroom.

We believe that reporting can save the world.

The TCB First Amendment Society recognizes the vital role of a free, unfettered press with a bundling of local experiences designed to build community, and unique engagements with our newsroom that will help you understand, and shape, local journalism’s critical role in uplifting the people in our cities.

All revenue goes directly into the newsroom as reporters’ salaries and freelance commissions.

⚡ Join The Society ⚡