Mayor Orders Faster Progress in Filling Vacancies

~City Reorganizes Positions as Interim DCAO Departs~

Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced today that the service of Stephen Harms as Interim Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for Human Services is concluding. Harms, who was appointed to the position in January of 2013, has chosen to pursue other opportunities.

“We are grateful to Steve for the time that he has dedicated to the City in this capacity,” said Mayor Jones. “This interim appointment has extended out beyond one year; much longer than we anticipated we would have the benefit of his expertise and we are grateful that he was able to dedicate this much time.”

“I was honored to have been asked to serve with the Mayor and his team,” said Steve Harms. “I’m grateful for his and City Council’s support in our efforts to improve city services. The experience has been meaningful and I appreciate the dedicated city employees that I had the privilege of working with.”

The DCAO for Human Services has oversight of the Department of Social Services, Human Services, Libraries and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. Until a permanent placement is found, the portfolio will be shared by existing leadership staff. Chris Beschler, DCAO for Operations, will exercise oversight of Libraries and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. Byron Marshall, CAO, will continue with ultimate oversight over the Departments of Social Services and Justice Services, while David Hicks continues to serve in an acting capacity as director of the Department of Social Services and Justice Services. Byron Marshall will also take general oversight responsibility for the City’s Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs, the Office on Aging and Persons with Disabilities, the Mayor’s Youth Academy and the Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteerism office.

“I have instructed City officials to fill these vacancies quickly,” said Mayor Jones. “This process has moved too slowly. I remain optimistic that we will have substantial announcements in the coming weeks regarding our overall organization.”

Mayor Jones also announced that Grant Neely is now serving as his Chief of Staff, replacing Suzette Denslow who joined Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration. A soft announcement was made when Neely assumed the role in late January. Neely previously worked as a strategy and communications advisor to the CEOs of Pfizer in New York City and Novartis in Switzerland. He served as a longtime policy and communications advisor in the administration of then-Governor Mark R. Warner.