Sessoms stepping down as mayor of Va. Beach

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Will Sessoms is stepping down as mayor of Virginia Beach. 

Sessoms said Wednesday he is resigning to pursue “private sector employment opportunities.”

I am grateful to the citizens of Virginia Beach for entrusting me to serve as Mayor of the greatest city in the world. One of the reasons is because we have City employees and volunteers who work so diligently to carry out the vision of the City Council.

Sessoms wouldn’t give specifics of those employment opportunities, but after the recent State of the City Address he said enough is enough.

“I’ve had conversations with my wife and children.  I’ve been doing this a good while … now is the right time to leave.”

Sources told 10 On Your Side Sessoms was stepping down to take a job within Gov. Ralph Northam’s Administration. A spokesman for Northam said no position had been offered to Sessoms.

Sessoms has been on and off the Virginia Beach City Council since 1988, and was there for the negotiations to bring water to the city through the Lake Gaston Pipeline.
 
“I was here when we got the Convention Center, we got Town Center done, 31st Street Hilton, the redevelopment of 31st Street area, and the new Cavalier … came this close to being demolished, “ Sessoms said, holding his fingers an inch apart.
 
Sessoms says he is leaving the city in great shape with great opportunity, he’s had a great run, and he expects it to continue.  
 
Sessoms’ longtime friend Linwood Branch was at the announcement and has known about a week the Mayor was stepping down.
 
“It was bittersweet for him … I told him I support whatever he decides … part of Will’s legacy he focused on the economy, the military, tourism, agriculture, and now we have policies that deal with all those,” Branch said.
 
James Cohen was also there to hear the speech, and worked on Sessoms’ first mayoral campaign in 2008. He was turned off by what he saw.
 
“What he has done is put this city into more debt that we did not need it to have,” Cohen said.
 
Sessoms is most proud that during the great recession he oversaw a city that maintained fiscal strength.
 
“We were financially and maintained a AAA bond rating through the recession by all three ratings  agencies which allowed us to do a lot of great things,” Sessoms said.
 
Several members on council think Vice Mayor Louis Jones will be the next mayor, and will be there until a new mayoral election is held in November.

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