CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake’s longtime city treasurer now has less power after City Council was convinced to take some of it away from her.
Following a unanimous vote Tuesday from City Council, city staff will now take over duties such as stormwater and EMS fees from Treasurer Barbara Carraway.
City Manager Chris Price says the level of service from Carraway’s office has steadily declined, with it being “very apparent in the number of citizen concerns being received at the Customer Contact Center and in other departments that receive citizen calls.”
“I let Mrs. Carraway know last week that this agenda item was forthcoming,” Price said. “Then yesterday when she told me she just found out about it I reminded her I told her last week.”
Concerns include the stormwater bill error last year, leading to higher-than-normal bills this spring. Employees have reached have also reached to complain of a toxic work environment in Carraway’s office.
Price says the number of employees at her office has fallen from 35 in July 2021 to just 21 in April 2023, and that staffing in past 12 months has fluctuated to as low as 18.
“The situation continues to deteriorate and is untenable,” Price wrote in his docket item requesting the
Carraway told City Council the accusations aren’t true, and that she was given no indication there was a problem.
“I know the services in our office have not declined. We serve the public everyday with a lot of pride. We are there to assist citizens with their needs. We process a lot of work in the treasurer’s office,” Carraway said.
Carraway is directly elected by voters, so only voters could remove her from office. Her term isn’t up until 2026.