The College Park City Council unanimously voted to name Natasha Hampton as the city’s new city manager at a virtual work session Tuesday.
Hampton will be the first woman and person of color to serve as College Park’s city manager. She will officially start June 1.
Hampton has over 23 years of experience in local government, according to a press release from the city. She previously served in a variety of local government positions in Miramar, Florida, and Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Bill Gardiner, who previously served as assistant city manager, has been the interim city manager since December when former city manager Scott Somers resigned. Somers left the College Park government to serve as CEO of an Arizona-based recreation nonprofit.
The city manager oversees the city’s day-to-day activities and finances, appoints and supervises various department heads and implements policies passed by the council, among other responsibilities.
District 1 council member Kate Kennedy said Hampton’s philosophy of community involvement stood out to her while interviewing candidates for the position.
“I’m really looking forward to her helping us bring community members in, get staff involved, get the city involved and really bring us together,” Kennedy said.
Hampton said she’s excited to get started.
“This opportunity is an amazing one, and I look forward to building collaboratively with you and with every resident and business owner in this community,” Hampton said.
In addition to her work in local government, Hampton has written a book called High Heel Leadership: The Art of Being A Woman In Power, which was published last May.
District 1 council member Fazlul Kabir, who read the book, said it was “wonderful.”
“It has lots of good points to learn from impact leadership in the community,” Kabir said.
District 4 council member Denise Mitchell shared her excitement about Hampton’s appointment.
“I’m doing a tap dance, a somersault, all that,” Mitchell said. “We have an aggressive strategic plan, but I know [she’s] able to handle it.”
Hampton, who obtained her bachelor’s degree from Florida Memorial University and her master’s degree in public administration from Nova Southeastern University, also joked about how she will be the first city manager with a nickname. District 2 council member Monroe Dennis started calling her “Hamp” during the interview process, she said.
Mayor Patrick Wojahn said he appreciates Hampton’s wealth of experience in local government.
“What brought it home for me was just getting to know her,” he said. “We are really truly lucky and blessed to be able to welcome her to College Park.”