Cincinnati City Manager Patrick Duhaney is resigning his position to take a similar job in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Duhaney told Mayor John Cranley about his decision in email early Tuesday morning. He indicated accepting "a new position with a start date in late July."
A press release from Virginia Beach announced Duhaney will be that city's new manager. The release stated he will begin his new job July 20.
"Patrick has the leadership skills, experiences and professional demeanor we are seeking to lead the city organization and work effectively with council and the community," said Virginia Beach Mayor Robert Dyer in the press release. "He has deep knowledge of and experience with community engagement, economic development, public financial management and the challenges facing large cities. We were impressed with his energy, his demonstrated commitment to transparency in local government, and his strong desire to really listen to our residents and work with us as we chart our future."
Duhaney also sent an email to city staff Tuesday afternoon. He told employees it was a privilege to serve alongside and in partnership with them.
"During my time here, I have been continually humbled by the tremendous passion and grit you demonstrate when providing vital services to this community, often in difficult situations and with limited resources," Duhaney wrote. "You do not get enough credit for how often you go above and beyond the job specifications in service to our residents, businesses and customers."
Duhaney's resignation comes as the city is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, protests about racial injustice in the city, and balancing a general fund budget that has a $73.4 million deficit.
Cranley said in an email to Duhaney he is "heartbroken."
"You have been by far the best manager I have ever worked with," he wrote. "Impeccable integrity and constant professionalism, you are a servant leader that is able to lead by moral force and conviction-based resolve. I believe your career is a rocketship and will make us all proud by our association with you as you will forge a continued path of historic public service to our country."
Cranley has selected current City Solicitor Paula Boggs Muething to serve as acting city manager once Duhaney leaves. The city's succession plan had Assistant City Manager Chris Bigham next in line to fill the position if Duhaney could not serve. But Bigham said he was "not available to service as acting city manager."
"In these unprecedented times, it is mission critical to the city that we have a seamless transition immediately," Cranley wrote. "We need someone who can do the job right away as we navigate historic challenges, search for new solutions, but continue to provide the services that our city depends upon to survive. Paula is by far the best alternative to you to do that."
Boggs Muething said in an email, "it would be an honor to continue my service to the city as acting city manager."
Duhaney was serving as an assistant city manager when he was tapped by Cranley to serve as acting city manager after former city manager Harry Black resigned. That followed efforts by Cranley to oust him from the job. Black resigned minutes before city council was going to meet to fire him.
Duhaney was named city manager in December 2018. He's been with the city for 11 years and previously served as the chief procurement officer before being promoted to assistant city manager.
Duhaney's new job will be in a larger city. Virginia Beach had an estimated population of 449,974 in 2019. Cincinnati had an estimated 2019 population of 303,940.
Virginia Beach has a council/manager form of government, similar to Cincinnati. That city has a mayor and an 11-member city council.
He will have a two-year contract with the Virginia city and be paid $270,000 a year.