Ex-Christiansburg employee tapped for New Market job

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

NEW MARKET — A longtime employee of the town of Christiansburg has been tapped to be New Market’s town manager.

Town Council unanimously named Todd Walters, 52, to the position, effective Nov. 6, during its Monday meeting. He has worked for the Town of Christiansburg for almost 30 years, and has been its assistant director of engineering since 2010.

Walters’ salary will be $75,000 per year, Councilwoman Peggy Harkness said.

Former Town Manager Mike Ritchie retired on Sept. 15 after 28 years of employment with New Market and four years in the town’s highest staff position.

Planner and Zoning Administrator Alex Berryman has served as interim manager while council searched for a permanent replacement.

Walters applied to be town manager in 2013, when Evan Vass left the position to work for Shenandoah County. Ritchie was appointed that year.

Walters applied again, he said, because he wanted to cross an item off his career to-do list.

“I wanted to say I finished my career as a town manager,” he said. “The town is small enough that I can get my hands and my head around it.”

The chance for a change of scenery also inspired Walters to take a new job three months before marking his 30th year with Christiansburg.

“It was a tough decision for me being right there at the 30-year mark,” he said. “But it was either take the opportunity or stay for a few more months, and this was a great opportunity.”

As part of Christiansburg’s Engineering Department, Walters worked with the Public Works Department to answer customer service calls and promote commercial land development, he said.

Walters’ first act in office, he said, will be to implement a 90-day plan to determine the town’s economic needs and create a plan for how to make them a reality.

“I want to get to know the council and what their goals are and get a complete list,” he said, “and then we’ll meet as a whole and break them down. What do we want the town to look like next year, over five years, over 10 years?

“They want to move New Market forward, and that’s what I want to help them do,” he said.

Councilman Tim Palmer praised the research Walters completed when he applied for the job in 2013.

“Years ago, he got to know the town, and he has demonstrated quite a bit of knowledge about it,” Palmer said. “We’re looking forward to working with him.”

Harkness, Palmer and Councilmen John Blosser, Peter Hughes and Gary Comer voted to approve Walters’ appointment. Councilman Scott Wymer was absent on Monday.

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