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Petersburg taxpayers skeptical of a Rochelle Small-Toney choice as city manager

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Taxpayers in Petersburg are all asking why does the city want to hire a woman for city manager who was forced to resign the last time she was a city manager because she allegedly mishandled finances.

"If she couldn't fulfill the job there what makes us think she can come here and fix our problems if she couldn't fix whatever problems there?" Taxpayer Amber Wilson asked.

"I think it's pathetic. It's crazy," taxpayer Lisa Londyn said.

Yet, Petersburg Mayor Howard Myers said Rochelle Small-Toney "is quite capable."

Small-Toney works as the deputy city manager in Fayetteville, North Carolina, but before that she was the city manager of Savannah, Georgia.

Rochelle Small-Toney

Rochelle Small-Toney

She was forced to resign amid allegations of mismanagement.

"What about these people here who have been contacting us [saying] they needed to select someone who had a squeaky clean image?" CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit asked Mayor Myers.

"If you can tell me where you can find someone in life that has a squeaky clean image send my way… no one has a squeaky clean image," Myers said.

Small-Toney actually came to Petersburg Wednesday for a special meeting where sources said she was going to be hired by City Council.

The Interim City Manager, who was vying for the job, drove away and took no questions before the meeting.

After an hour and twenty minutes in a closed session, the mayor announced no decision had been made and the meeting was over.

special meeting

Hipolit asked Small-Toney if she was upset about being left in limbo.

"Oh no, I'm not upset. I understand how the political process works," she said.

Hipolit asked Small-Toney about the financial mismanagement allegations in Fayetteville.

"I think you need to go back a little further because there were no financial mismanagement issues in Savannah,” she said. “As a matter of fact if you go back further there was a clean audit as I left."

Small-Toney said she thinks she is the right fit for this job.

Small-Toney is a Brooklyn, New York native, but was raised and educated in North Carolina, graduating from the University of North Carolina with a bachelors and masters degree.

She is also no stranger to Virginia, as she served as an assistant to the City Manager and Assistant City Manager in Danville, Virginia. She later moved on to the same position in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Mayor Myers said he will determine within the next 24 hours what the council would like for him to do.

There is a council meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, September 20.