PORTSMOUTH-- City council voted Tuesday night to appoint John L. Rowe, Jr. as City Manager on an interim basis.
Rowe, a Portsmouth native, has four decades of public administration experience in Virginia – nearly three decades in local government management in Hampton Roads and nearly a decade in public higher education as a college vice president for finance and administration.
Rowe helped create several of the regional public authorities that serve Hampton Roads including SPSA and the original public transportation district, the forerunner to HRT.
From 1984 to 1986, he served as the Chairman of the Southeastern Virginia Regional Planning District Commission and was part of the leadership that brought about the consolidation of the Peninsula Planning District Commission and the Southeastern Virginia Planning District Commission to create the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.
He presently serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations.
Rowe's work in local government and higher education includes:
• Worked for the Norfolk City Manger from 1971 to 1975
• Served as Assistant City Manager for the City of Suffolk from 1975 to 1979
• Served as the City Manager of Poquoson from 1979 to 1981
• Served as the City Manager of Suffolk from 1981 to 1990
• Served as the Business Executive (Vice President for Finance &
Administration) for VMI from 1991 to 2000
• Served as the City Manager & then the Town Manager of Clifton Forge – led Clifton Forge in making the transition from city status to town status
• Served as the City Manager of Emporia and retired from that position at the end of 2003 to return to his hometown, Portsmouth
• He was asked to come out of retirement in 2005 to serve as the Deputy City Manager of Portsmouth for a three-year period, and he retired again in 2008
• He was asked to serve as the Interim Manager of the Town of Windsor - 2008-2010
Rowe will serve as City Manager on an interim basis. At a later time, the council will determine whether to make his appointment permanent or to conduct a search for a permanent city manager.
Rowe will be paid a yearly salary of $150,000, plus a $600 per month car allowance. There will be no additional benefits or severance pay.
Brannon Godfrey, who has been serving as Acting City Manager since the resignation of former City Manager Kenneth Chandler, will return to his prior position as Deputy City Manager.