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Former city manager takes position in Norfolk

Less than a year after stepping down as city manager in Suffolk, Patrick Roberts has returned to the region as the deputy city manager in Norfolk.

Roberts, who was city manager in Suffolk from 2015 until October 2020, will oversee Norfolk’s public works, utilities, transit, resilience and planning departments. He also served as deputy city manager in Suffolk. Larry Filer serves as city manager in Norfolk.

Before accepting the position in Norfolk, Roberts had been working for a community association in northeastern North Carolina.

When he stepped down from his position in Suffolk, Roberts said it was the right time to leave and seek out an opportunity with a better work-life balance, though he said it was not an easy decision for him.

Roberts had served in a number of roles with the city of Suffolk from 2007, when he was hired to be the assistant director of planning and community development, through 2020. His time included being deputy city manager from June 2008 until May 2015, when he became interim city manager. He had the interim title removed later in 2015.

Before working in Suffolk, Roberts was the senior assistant to the chief administrative officer in Richmond in the office of then-Mayor Doug Wilder.

While Roberts was city manager in Suffolk, then-Suffolk Mayor Linda Johnson said numerous times that he was a sought-after commodity in the Hampton Roads region.

Norfolk was recently named as one of the best places to work in local government by Engaging Local Government Leaders.