Offers made to fill 2 key positions in Petersburg

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Petersburg will soon have new leadership in two key positions: City manager and police chief.

“We’re pretty excited as a city to be taking it to the next level,” Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham said.

Taking it to the next level is how Parham characterizes the potential of a new city manager in Petersburg.

While Mayor Parham would not confirm the information, sources tell 8News Tri-Cities Reporter Parker Slaybaugh an offer has been made to Aretha Ferrell-Benavides, who is the current city manager in Glenn Heights, Texas.

Aretha Ferrell-Benavides.

“We’re very excited that we definitely have a superior leadership team that is coming in here,” Parham said.

Ferrell-Benavides has been recognized nationally for her work as an administrator. She has worked all over the country, including stops in California, New Mexico, and Washington D.C.

“The City manager candidate that we are looking at has a long list of achievements and not getting into the weeds of it, but most importantly is that candidate is up for the challenge,” Parham said.

City Hall isn’t the only place where a new top management position offered; at the police station, offers could soon be reporting to a new police chief.

City officials tell 8News that person is Kenneth Miller, who has served as a captain with the Virginia Beach Police Department and in the military.

Kenneth Miller.

“The biggest thing we wanted is someone that is community oriented and is willing to get out here, hit the streets, visit churches, get deep into the community,” Parham said.

The interim city manager, as well as a city spokesperson, would not confirm that offers had been made to the two candidates and say there have been no signed agreements yet.

Mayor Parham would also not confirm either offer, but says an official announcement should be coming next week.

Sources also say there could soon be an agreement to hire a new finance director.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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