Small-Toney steps down as Rocky Mount city manager | The Enterprise
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Small-Toney steps down as Rocky Mount city manager

Posted on January 20, 2022

Updated on January 24, 2022

Local news
City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney, shown in a city of Rocky Mount portrait, will retire at the end of February. She is on administrative leave until her employment officially ends on Feb. 28.

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City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney, shown in a city of Rocky Mount portrait, will retire at the end of February. She is on administrative leave until her employment officially ends on Feb. 28.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

ROCKY MOUNT — City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney announced Thursday that she is stepping down in February.

The city’s chief executive since July 2017, Small-Toney received scrutiny in a scathing 2020 state audit report for spending taxpayer dollars on elaborate lobster and steak dinners.

The Rocky Mount City Council didn’t reveal the agreement it reached with Small-Toney concerning her departure.

Small-Toney will be on administrative leave until Feb. 28. Former manager Peter Varney will serve as interim city manager, a position with which he’s familiar.

Small-Toney has been in public service for nearly four decades.

“The city is very appreciative of all of her accomplishments and hard work,” Mayor Sandy Roberson said in a prepared statement. “We respect her decision to retire and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

During Small-Toney’s tenure, the city was removed from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s watch list. The city was also selected as one of 10 municipalities in the entire country to be recognized by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation in 2021.

Small-Toney said she’s proud of serving as project leader on the city’s first Affordable Workforce Housing Strategic Plan and the downtown revitalization program, resulting in the Five Points Workforce Housing Project scheduled to break ground in March.

Small-Toney created the Development Services Department and directed implementation of the One Stop Shop model to promote efficiency and a more customer-friendly regulatory environment for permitting and inspections.

“I have enjoyed collaborating with the mayor and city council members as well as providing leadership to the management team and staff,” Small-Toney said in a news release. “Rocky Mount is a great community and is positioned to reach new heights.”

The city council will conduct a national search for its next city manager in the coming weeks.

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