The Hook has decided to start naming a “Person of the Year” annually, and for this first year, they’ve named City Manager Gary O’Connell. Lindsay Barnes writes:
He’s the CEO of one of Central Virginia’s biggest companies, administering a $162 million annual budget and supervising over 900 employees. Like any CEO, he has a board that stakes out policy positions, but he’s the one who makes things happen. Those facts in and of themselves are enough to make Gary O’Connell a contender for “Person of the Year” any year.
However, this year, perhaps more than any other in his 14-year tenure as Charlottesville City Manager, has found O’Connell at the center of several larger-than-usual controversies.
Much of the piece is turned over to O’Connell “to let him talk about issues, respond to critics, and make the case that he’s consistently given City Council the best possible advice.” The runners-up, incidentally, were Congressman-elect Tom Perriello, Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford, businessman James Murray, Bill Crutchfield, and Olympian Lindsay Shoop.