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Mayor selects Sheryl Long for next Cincinnati City Manager. Now Council will vote on her selection

woman at a microphone
Cory Sharber
Assistant City Manager Sheryl Long.

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval has selected Sheryl Long as his pick to be the next city manager. Long has been serving as assistant city manager since 2019; before that, she was City Administrator for North College Hill.

Council will vote on the appointment in a special session on Thursday, September 1 at 1:30 p.m.

Pureval said she was absolutely the best candidate for the job.

"Given her own personal lived experience, given the long commitment to public service, given her talents," Pureval said. "She has had a a really fast rise from North College Hill to now the next city manager of Cincinnati. And that's due entirely because of her extraordinary talent, her work ethic, her ability to get things done, and I have complete confidence that she will execute on the strategic vision that the council and I put forth."

Long says she doesn't take the responsibility lightly.

"My number one focus is to make our local government accessible to all Cincinnatians regardless of their neighborhood, circumstances, or walk of life," she said. "Being a Black woman in the position of local government leadership is rare, and I am grateful to the women who have come before me."

Long thanked a host of family, friends, and community members, many of whom attended the press conference at City Hall Friday afternoon, cheering often.

"Thanks to my grandparents, Dorothy and Lorenzo, who raised me and pushed me to become the woman that I am today," Long said. "Due to their love and support, I am the first person in my family to graduate from college."

Long has a Bachelor of Arts in Black world studies from Miami University and a Master of Arts in marketing from Southern New Hampshire University.

Long was one of two finalists for the job, along with Interim City Manager John Curp, who has been serving since January.

Curp could get a big payout (around $400,000) if he's not offered another senior-level management position paying at least 75% of his current salary of about $273,000 a year. That would mean a salary of about $205,000 — more than either current assistant city manager.

If Curp is offered a senior-level position that he chooses not to accept, he will be eligible for a severance payment of six months' salary.

That decision will be up to Long, assuming she's confirmed by council. Pureval said those discussions had not taken place yet, as he informed Long and Curp of his decision on Friday morning.

"I have every confidence that Sheryl can work with John to find the best possible solution for the city and for Mr. Curp," he said.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.