RALEIGH The Raleigh City Council will introduce its new city manager Friday morning, and all signs point to a Charlotte assistant city manager as the choice for the top job.
Ruffin Hall is widely believed to be the councils pick from 80 applicants and four finalists who sought the position. Hall, who served as Charlottes budget director for a decade, was one of three finalists when the Queen City sought a city manager earlier this year. Since becoming an assistant city manager last year, he has overseen economic development, planning and transit for Charlotte, including the citys light rail system.
Hall is new to Raleigh but no stranger to the Triangle. He completed a bachelors in political science at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1992 and later a masters degree in public administration. He served as assistant to the Chapel Hill town manager in 1998 and 1999, and then spent two years in Durham as a senior budget analyst before moving to Charlotte in 2001.
Cal Horton, the now-retired Chapel Hill town manager who hired Hall out of graduate school, said his former assistant recently mentioned that he was interested in the Raleigh job.
Hall showed a knack for city management early on, Horton said.
It was very clear that he had a long-term interest in the profession, he said. He put in a lot of hours and took on a lot of different kinds of assignments.
Horton said Hall is skilled at keeping lines of communication open with council members, city staffers and the public a key role for a city administrator who must balance diverse interests.
If I were to summarize his greatest talents, it would be the ability to think, write and speak with great precision, Horton said.
Communication was a concern Raleighs council voiced with former City Manager Russell Allen, who was fired in April.
Campbell: 919-829-4802; Twitter: @RaleighReporter
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