Petersburg introduces new city manager

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Petersburg officially has a new city manager.

Aretha Ferrell-Benavides.was formally introduced into the position Wednesday afternoon. She takes over for former city manager William E. Johnson III, who parted ways with the city in February 2016.

“We have a lot of things ahead of us, a lot of challenges,” she said before a crowd of officials and residents.

One of the challenges include getting the city back on track.

A new report recently revealed the city needs at least $20 million to balance out operations.

“I don’t believe it’ll be solved overnight but I believe that working together, we can do this and I’m up for the challenge,” she said.

Aretha Ferrell-Benavides.

Ferrell-Benavides previously served as city manager in Glenn Heights, Texas. She’s also been recognized nationally for her work as an administrator across the country, including stops in California, New Mexico, and Washington D.C.

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

Longtime Petersburg resident Eric Williams said he plans on holding her accountable.

“I want you to do what you said you’re going to do for the people,” Williams said.

Ferrell-Benavides officially assumes her position July 10.

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

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