Norfolk appoints new city manager in wake of Filer resignation
Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer resigned following confusion over a severance package the city council passed two weeks ago.
Language in the agreement seemed to say Filer was about to leave his job – but that didn’t immediately happen.
City council member Andria McClellan voiced her concerns over the process at this week’s Council meeting.
“I am concerned after just having come through much of the citizens’ uproar about how we hired the Norfolk police chief without having enough transparency,” McClellan said.
“And here we are, right back at it.”
The severance package changed hypothetical wording — from “if terminated” to “shall.”
At the time, some city council members reported they didn’t know the language had been changed.
Deputy City Manager Pat Roberts was appointed to take Filer’s spot. That motion was approved by the council Tuesday night.
Councilmember Tommy Smigiel praised Filer’s leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To steer us through the pandemic the way that he did economically, and to still maintain the bond ratings that we did, I just really want to commend him,” Smigiel said.
Filer was city manager for 4 years. His severance package includes pay — around $280,000 — and health insurance for him and his family for a year.
Filer and Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander did not immediately respond to requests for comment.