Andrew Trivette named city manager at State of the City address

Staff writer

Andrew Trivette, formerly Williamsburg’s acting city manager, will fill the position permanently after City Council unanimously appointed him at its biennial State of the City address Thursday evening.

Trivette’s appointment was effective Friday, according to the release, and will earn an annual salary of $152,000.

“I couldn’t be more excited. I have a distinct advantage having been here as long as I have and serving as the interim city manager, so this is going to be a permanent role of continuing the progress that we’ve been working toward all along,” he said. “This is an honor and a privilege. I realize that being the city manager is a position of trust, and it’s my goal to earn that trust every day.”

Trivette joined the city as assistant city manager in 2016, according to Virginia Gazette archives, coming to Williamsburg from Bristol, Va., where he served the same role. According to a news release from the city, Trivette’s accomplishments have included serving as staff liaison to the General Assembly, coordinating the city’s parking plan implementation and leading the food truck work group

He was named interim city manager after former City Manager Marvin Collins resigned at an emergency City Council meeting last May. City spokeswoman Lee Ann Hartmann called the resignation a “personnel issue” at the time.

Trivette was chosen from a pool of approximately 30 applicants, city attorney Christina Shelton said.

“During his time as Assistant City Manager and Interim City Manager, Mr. Trivette has served this community extremely well,” Mayor Paul Freiling said in the release. “His intelligence, insight, and approachability have impressed many Williamsburg residents, who have in turn expressed their support of him to City Council.”

At the biennial meeting, Council also presented the city’s recently adopted 2019-2020 Goals, Initiatives, and Outcomes document. The strategic plan consists of 51 milestones that the board hopes to see the city reach before 2021.

Highlights include increasing efforts to redevelop and revitalize Capitol Landing Road, the upcoming Monticello Avenue streetscape redesign project and efforts to increase sports tourism in the city with improvements to local parks, including a fourth softball field at Kiwanis Park and an expansion to Quarterpath Recreation Center.

Vice Mayor Doug Pons looked back at the city’s accomplishments during the past two years, which included the redevelopment of the Williamsburg and Monticello shopping centers into the evolving Midtown Row development.

“The concept of a mixed-use development was a big step, and one that most assuredly invigorated a once-underutilized part of town, and we did it together,” he said. “We didn’t always agree, but through lively discussion between the city, the new owners and the citizens, we have an exciting new landscape taking form.”

Council member Benny Zhang mentioned increased efforts to provide relief for the city’s homeless and housing-challenged population. Many city residents are cost-burdened, he said, meaning that people are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

“We must address affordable housing and homelessness,” Zhang said. “Over the course of the next two years, the city will develop a workforce housing work group, and a work team of stakeholders to find and identify strategies for change.”

Although troubled by rising political tensions and recent events including the “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year, Mayor Freiling closed the meeting by saying Williamsburg serves as a beacon of hope for the future.

“I am pleased to report that the state of the city is healthy, strong and energized, while the state of our community is empathetic, open-minded and welcoming,” he said. “We look forward to many opportunities to better serve this community with respect and cooperation, and as always, civility.”

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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