Charlottesville City Manager Chip Boyles has been hired as Executive Director of the George Washington Regional Commission in Fredericksburg, the commission announced Wednesday morning. Boyles announced his resignation from his current job on Oct. 12 and leaves it Oct. 29.
“Some of my most satisfying times in public service were working to grow regional cooperation and relationships among local governments, community members, and regional and state stakeholders,” Boyles said in a press release. “I am very familiar with the work that GWRC has been and is doing and am honored to be allowed to participate in those efforts. I look forward to getting to know the member localities and community stakeholders and, with the GWRC staff and our partner agencies, addressing the needs of the region.”
According to the press release, Boyles’ first day will be Nov. 1.
Boyles did not respond to a request for comment.
Boyles announced his resignation on Oct. 12, citing “public disparagement” and “a broken relationship” with Mayor Nikuyah Walker following his termination of Police Chief RaShall Brackney.
King George Board of Supervisors member Cathy Binder served as Chair of the Search Committee.
“We had several strong candidates and Mr. Boyles stood out immediately with his experience in regional planning both in Virginia and elsewhere,” Binder said in a press release “We were impressed by his knowledge, demeanor, and professional reputation and believe that he will be an excellent leader of the GWRC staff and will quickly establish positive relationships with member localities and regional stakeholders.”
GWRC did not respond to a request for comment.
Jesse Rutherford, chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and a member of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors, told The Daily Progress Boyles asked him to be a reference in applying to jobs.
Boyles was the Executive Director of TJPDC prior to being hired as City Manager in February. The commission was in the process of hiring someone to fill Boyles’ vacancy over the last several months. Rutherford said Boyles did not apply for his position again. They voted to appoint Christine Jacobs on Sept. 21.
“He did not apply to be the TJPDC Executive Director. We did not receive an application or a resume. So he was not in line for that since all the opportunity for that had already closed. He did ask me to be a reference [for another job] and I gladly was,” Rutherford said. “At the time he asked for a reference, we had already concluded our [executive director] interviews.
Rutherford said it was “likely” that Boyles had asked him for a reference prior to announcing his resignation, but declined to confirm a date.
“I’m very supportive of Chip, he’s a great guy,” Rutherford said. “I do look forward to his success.”
Boyles started his career as a Community/Economic Development Coordinator with the Low Country Council of Governments in Yemassee, South Carolina. Subsequent positions included Town Manager of Hardeeville, South Carolina; City Manager of Taneytown, Maryland; Assistant City Administrator in Clemson, South Carolina; Executive Director of the International Town & Gown Association in Clemson; Urban Development Director for the City of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Vice President for Programs and Administration for the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority. Boyles came to Virginia in 2014 to serve as the Executive Director of the TJPDC.
City councilors weighed in on the announcement.
“The George Washington Regional Commission has hired an excellent leader and strong collaborator. I know [Boyles] will serve their region well but [I’m] certainly disappointed to see him leaving ours,” councilor Heather Hill wrote in a statement to The Daily Progress.
“That’s [Boyles’] career move and certainly wish him the best of luck in his future career in that position there. I mean, for us as a city, we’re still just in the same position of needing to fill a lot of vacancies and instability in city government so we can execute our policy goals and long term goals,” councilor Michael Payne told The Daily Progress.