Questions remain over future of Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer

Questions remain over future of Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer

NORFOLK, Va. – Chip Filer has been city manager of Norfolk since 2019, but it appears his days on the job could be numbered.

This week, the city council approved the Annual Compensation Plan by a unanimous vote. It addresses city staffer pay for the upcoming year.

Under the section dealing with the city manager’s pay, this year, it says “for his severance in June 2023.”

No one discussed the city manager’s performance before or after the vote and the language caught many by surprise.

“It’s a lack of transparency and a crisis of leadership,” said Liz Albert, who closely monitors city government and is the second vice president of the River Forest Shores/Wayside Manor/Easton Place Civic League.

The city manager is the top-appointed official and runs the day-to-day operations of the city.

Last year, the Compensation Plan also addressed a possible severance for the city manager but it did not list a date like it does this year.

This year it says he would get his annual salary for a year in severance pay.

His current salary is about $280,000.

So far, the city manager’s office has not offered any explanation for the language.

News 3 reached out to all of the city council members, including the mayor.

Only Andria McClellan responded to News 3 in a text message, saying she was not aware of the language before the vote.

McClellan said there had been talks about Filer leaving, but nothing was finalized. She said she was not made aware of the language even though she asked the mayor and vice mayor about the city manager before the meeting.

“This was a significant vote, and the citizens of Norfolk deserve more transparency in our actions. I am disappointed that we did not provide that in this vote,” McClellan told News 3.

Meanwhile, Albert said she’s going to continue to monitor city government.

“I’m looking for more transparency in the future, but also hopefully most of the city council learned that they need transparency also,” said Albert.

For now, those who have the answers about what’s happening aren’t sharing them.

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