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Former Charlottesville fire dept. chief named local Habitat COO

Former Charlottesville Fire Chief Andrew Baxter has taken a position as Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville’s chief operating officer, the organization announced Wednesday.

Baxter resigned from his position in the city in June after lodging multiple complaints against City Manager Tarron Richardson.

Habitat is currently preparing to ramp up its home construction program from 20 houses per year to more than 40 houses despite the ongoing pandemic, according to a news release. Baxter’s leadership experience will help the organization “dramatically expand our impact on the community in a safe and responsible way,” the organization said in the release.

“Probably the single most important foundational element to a safe, healthy, resilient person, family, or community is safe, stable, and affordable housing,” Baxter said in the release. “For much of my career, my focus was on response. After a while you figure out that many of those responses could be avoided by addressing the root causes of those emergencies. it is clear that the lack of safe and affordable housing in a community is a significant source of instability that leads to many other challenges.”

Baxter had been the city’s fire chief for more than four years, and had previously worked with the Henrico County Division of Fire for 20 years. He and his family have lived in the Charlottesville area since 1990.

“We are so excited to welcome Andrew to the team,” Habitat CEO and President Dan Rosensweig said in the release. “Not only is he a logistics expert, he is about as fine a human being as you could ever meet.”


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