RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Robert Bobb Group’s contract with Petersburg is set to expire soon. The group that was brought in to turn around the city’s finances.
Many in Petersburg have been wondering if next month would be the Robert Bobb Group’s final month here in Petersburg, but on Friday Robert Bobb himself confirmed that they are currently working on a proposal to present to city council that would keep them around until roughly July.
Robert Bobb said over the phone that come the next city council meeting, they will make a proposal to extend their contract. As divisive as politics and city government have become lately in Petersburg, this announcement was welcomed by most, including Treska Wilson-Smith, the very council member who voted against the group coming in the first place.
“I actually did, I voted no, I felt that we could do this on our own if we just put our heads together and try to figure it out,” she told 8News. “However, I have to admit they have done very well by us.”
Clean Sweep Petersburg founder Barb Rudolph is also on board.
“Certainly I think the Robert Bobb group has done some excellent work, I believe that the short term loan that was obtained for Petersburg, Im not sure if that could have been done without their intervention,” said Rudolph.
But how much will extending their services cost? No one knows yet, but Wilson-Smith says, “I had also hoped that perhaps that if they do stay that the state would be footing this bill because I don’t see where Petersburg has it.”
8News reached out to majority leader Kirk Cox’s office. We were told there was $500,000 set aside in the budget for local fiscal stress which Petersburg would qualify for, but Cox Chief of Staff Kelly Gee said in a statement,
“The Robert Bobb group was brought in by the city as an initial turn around group. At this time it is undetermined who the state will use to help with fiscal stress plan management. Ultimately the secretary of finance will make the decision of who to contract with Petersburg.”
Meanwhile, acting City Manager Tom Tyrrel said the top priority is hiring the key positions including the City Manager.
They hope to have that process wrapped up by April or May.