Leadership turnover causes concern in Roanoke

Bob Cowell is just one of the city leaders leaving the Star City

ROANOKE, Va. – There are some big changes in Roanoke City leadership right now, starting with City Manager Bob Cowell announcing his resignation.

But that’s not all. Come November, we could be looking at three to four new council members.

Councilmembers Luke Priddy and Trish White-Boyd are leaving council, as well as Mayor Sherman Lea.

Then, depending on how the race for mayor goes between David Bowers, Joe Cobb, and Stephanie Moon Reynolds, there may be another seat.

That makes three or four chances for new faces on council this fall.

That’s why Republican candidate for mayor David Bowers said they need to wait for the new council to decide on a city manager.

He tells us with so much turnover, it will be an entirely new makeup.

“Someone who comes into that job may be very concerned of if they’ll be able to keep that job if there’s a new city council,” Bowers said.

We sat down with councilwoman and independent candidate for mayor Stephanie Moon Reynolds, who tells me she’s more concerned with finding the best candidate for the job in a timely manner.

“To be accessible. When calls come in, not just for the privileged, but also for those who don’t have a voice,” Moon Reynolds said.

Mayor Sherman Lea will be the interim city manager.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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