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Petersburg City Council vote on Robert Bobb Group could be reversed

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A special meeting has been called which could possibly reverse a recent Petersburg City Council vote. 

It became obvious at Tuesday’s Petersburg City Council meeting that many did not approve of spending more than $300,000 to hire a consulting group to help the distressed city.

The motion to hire the Robert Bobb group failed to pass, in a deadlocked vote.

There were three no and  three yes votes and one abstention. The audience seemed less divided about the decision.

"I'm glad it happened,” said resident Ron Moody.  “We don't have that money to spend.  If we've got that kind of money, give it to the fire department, or the schools."

"I'm sure they need some assistance, I'm sure they need some expertise, but the $300,000 is money we don't have, we've already cut to the core,” said Bob Kennedy.

Darrin Hill, who represents Ward 2, is one of the three on Council who voted no.

"To me it would have been senseless to hire them as a consultant, in my opinion, after we're asking everybody else to take a 10 percent cut in their pay,” Hill said.

Robert Bobb, a former city manager of Richmond, runs a consulting firm which focuses on turnaround projects in both the areas of business and government.

He recently served as the emergency financial manager for the Detroit Public School System.

While many thought the vote on Tuesday meant the decision was final, it may not be.

A  Special Meeting has been called for Thursday, to once again discuss hiring the Robert Bobb group.

“My vote stands and if it comes to that I'll be prepared to vote again,” Hill said.

But at least one "No" vote may be prepared to change, which could upend the balance.

"The Mayor called the meeting and I think someone from the other side is wanting to possibly change their vote on the Robert Bobb Group,” said Sam Parham, Petersburg Vice Mayor.

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