Virginia Beach city manager candidates down to two

Hamilton County, Ohio Administrator Christian Sigman. (Courtesy of Hamilton County, Ohio.)
Hamilton County (Ohio) Administrator Christian Sigman. (Courtesy of Hamilton County)

Council members are expected to choose early next year between one of their own deputy managers and the top county administrator from Cincinnati to be the next city manager of Virginia Beach.

Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen and Hamilton County (Ohio) Administrator Christian Sigman are the only candidates still being considered to replace retiring City Manager Jim Spore, who held the post for 24 years.

Virginia Beach Deputy City Manager David L. Hansen (Courtesy City of V irginia Beach.)
Virginia Beach Deputy City Manager David L. Hansen (Courtesy of City of Virginia Beach)

Councilman Bob Dyer, when given the two names by Southside Daily, confirmed them but declined to comment on the deliberation.

“They’re both fine candidates,” he said.

Neither Hansen nor Sigman returned messages late Friday afternoon. They are two of 27 candidates who applied for the position.

Hansen has assisted Spore for nearly a decade. He currently leads development of the Beach’s annual budget and oversees its departments of finance and management services, public utilities, public works and communications and information technology.

Sigman has served in the Hamilton County Administrator’s office for about the same amount of time, starting as an assistant for five years before taking over in 2011. He is “responsible for implementing County Commission policies, developing and monitoring the operating and capital budgets, and representing the Commission on various boards and commissions,” according to his bio on the Ohio county’s website.

Sigman was stripped of his economic development duties earlier this year after the Cincinnati Enquirer revealed he had criticized developers of a large project on the Ohio River in an email to county officials, the Ohio paper reported.

He started his public service career as a police officer in 1986, according to his county bio.

Hansen’s public service began in the Army, where his assignments included being the Training and Doctrine Command’s deputy chief of staff for resource management, working as a senior combat engineer trainer at the Army’s National Training Center, commanding the 1st Cavalry Division engineer battalion, and serving as executive officer to the director of the Army budget at the Pentagon, according to his city bio.

Hansen holds a master’s degree in strategic studies and logistics from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, a Master of Business Administration and Contracting from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from the University of Central Florida, the bio says.

Sigman has degrees in psychology and criminal justice from Indiana University – Bloomington and a master’s degree in public administration from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. He also completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, his bio says.

Spore is retiring Dec. 31. Deputy City Manager Doug Smith will serve as interim city manager until a permanent replacement starts. Smith’s interim appointment comes with a 10 percent pay raise.

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