The city of College Park announced its new city manager, Kenneth “Kenny” Young, at a virtual work session Tuesday night.
The new hire comes about nine months after the previous city manager, Scott Somers, resigned in December 2020.
In May, the city hired Natasha Hampton, who was unanimously terminated three days before she was set to start on June 1. The city cited discrepancies in information Hampton provided the city as the reason for her termination, but Hampton told The Diamondback in July that she wasn’t sure which discrepancies the city was referring to.
Young will be the city’s first Black city manager. He will start on Monday, Sept. 27.
The city manager oversees city services, implements council policies and appoints and supervises department heads. Young will also serve as an adviser to the city council to provide feedback on policies.
The city manager’s office manages all of the city’s day-to-day activities, financial affairs and administrative actions.
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“It’s been a little bit of a long haul, but council got the right person, and we’re just ready to bring you on board and learn from your experience and keep moving the city ahead,” said assistant city manager Bill Gardiner, who has served as interim city manager.
District 1 council member Kate Kennedy also expressed excitement over Young joining the city government.
“I was really impressed with his ability to turn negative things into positive things,” Kennedy said. “In College Park, we’ve got a lot of positive things, so I’m looking forward to you taking those positive things and making them even bigger.”
Young previously served as the county administrator for Goochland County, Virginia, where he oversaw 175 employees and a budget of more than $141 million, according to a news release from the city of College Park.
In this position, Young directed county departments through the COVID-19 pandemic. Goochland County has one of the highest coronavirus vaccination rates in Virginia.
Prior to his tenure in Goochland County, Young served as assistant county administrator in Loudoun County, Virginia, managing an organization with a budget of $3.2 billion and over 4,100 employees, according to the city’s news release.
Young has also served in local governments in North Las Vegas, Nevada and Capitol Heights, according to the city.
“From the first interview with Mr. Young, we knew he was a stellar candidate, and he would make a great city manager here for the city of College Park,” said College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn. “Mr. Young is the ideal candidate to continue the evolution of the city of College Park, with his incredible experience over several decades.”
During Tuesday’s work session with council members and city officials, Young expressed his enthusiasm to begin his work in College Park.
“I’m excited to get started and work with staff. I’m beside myself right now,” Young said. “I’m so excited about the future ahead and getting to work with the residents and the council to make College Park an even better place than it already is.”