City Manager

Peter F. Varney

Interim City Manager

252-972-1325

Frederick E. Turnage 
Municipal Building
331 S. Franklin St.
Rocky Mount, NC 

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Peter F. Varney

Varney graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1970, majoring in government. In 1974, he received a master’s degree in public administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. Varney served at the city of Rocky Mount from 1971-1976 as administrative assistant to the city manager. From 1977-2012 he was employed as an assistant city manager. The departments of Downtown Development, Engineering, Budget, Human Relations, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Development and Public Works were under his supervision. Since his retirement, Varney has returned to the city three times, as interim assistant city manager (2018), interim Community and Business Development manager (2021), and now as interim city manager.

During his 41-year tenure with the city, the New Hampshire native spearheaded a number of key projects, such as total renovation of the Helen P. Gay Rocky Mount Historic Train Station, Denton Street Pool and the Douglas Block restoration. Varney’s first project after venturing to the city in 1971 was the conversion of the Fannie Gorham School into the Rocky Mount Judicial Center. One of his most difficult but advantageous projects for the city was the completion of the Rocky Mount Sports Complex. After its use as a municipal airport, the area was used a crop-dusting operation for years, which caused environmental issues. Varney, city staff and the previous property owners managed a major cleanup of the contamination. The result was a state-of-the-art Sports Complex which currently brings in over $10 million annually to the area. Varney also led completion of the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, a flood-recovery project and one of the largest public-investment projects the city has ever undertaken.

He is married to Lin Varney. They have two sons, Seth and Ira.

The City Manager’s Office

Elton Daniels

Assistant City Manager

252-972-1325

Frederick E. Turnage 
Municipal Building
331 S. Franklin St.
Rocky Mount, NC 

The city manager is the chief executive officer for the city of Rocky Mount. Operating under the council-manager form of government, the city manager provides oversight for all departments, ensures that departments carry out the city’s mission, vision and values, and has the responsibility of carrying out policy decisions enforced by the mayor and members of the city council.

The city manager is assisted by two assistant city managers. Their responsibilities include overseeing the city’s various departments and ensuring that the department’s projects and daily activities coincide with the city’s organizational goals of excellent public service, excellent customer service and innovation. Each assistant city manager provides direction to their assigned areas as follows:

Elton Daniels

    • Parks & Recreation
    • Development Services
    • Public Works
    • Rocky Mount Event Center
    • Water Resources
    • Fire

Cekeithia (Kia) Blakney

Executive Assistant to the City Manager

252-972-1327

Frederick E. Turnage
Municipal Building
331 S. Franklin St.
Rocky Mount, NC 

Michelle Bellamy

Administrative Assistant

252-972-1325

Frederick E. Turnage
Municipal Building
331 S. Franklin St.
Rocky Mount, NC 

Offices that report directly to City Manager

Budget
Evaluation
& Development

Kenneth Hunter

Assistant to the City Manager

252-972-1325

Frederick E. Turnage
Municipal Building
331 S. Franklin St.
Rocky Mount, NC 

Click to Email

Department Website

Communications, Marketing & Public Relations

Kirk Brown

Director

252-972-1333

Frederick E. Turnage
Municipal Building
331 S. Franklin St.
Rocky Mount, NC 

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Department Website

Downtown Development

Kevin Harris

Manager

252-972-1101

Frederick E. Turnage
Municipal Building
331 S. Franklin St.
Rocky Mount, NC 

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Department Website

Internal
Audit

Abdul Baloch

Chief Internal Auditor
& Interim Finance Director

P: 252-972-1334  F: 252-972-1662

Frederick E. Turnage
Municipal Building
331 S. Franklin St.
Rocky Mount, NC 

Click to Email

Department Website

City Recognized by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Rocky Mount, N.C. — Rocky Mount is one of 10 winners of the 2020-2021 RWJF Culture of Health Prize awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Prize honors and elevates communities for working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity.

Rocky Mount is being nationally recognized for pursuing innovative ideas and bringing partners together to rally around a shared vision of health. Rocky Mount’s award-winning efforts include, addressing generations of disinvestment through an array of community wealth building approaches, changing the longstanding power dynamics that impede progress, and partnering to create a vibrant downtown corridor with a renewed sense of possibilities for area residents.

“Winning the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize is not only a humbling honor, but also a symbol of reassurance that our community is on the right path to making the city of Rocky Mount a place of health, opportunity and equity,” City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney said. “We are thankful for our community partners who work tirelessly to make the city of Rocky Mount an exciting place to work, play and live.”

Rocky Mount will receive a $25,000 prize, join a network of Prize-winning communities, and have its inspiring accomplishments shared throughout the nation. The other nine winning communities are: Addison, Ill.; Alamosa County, Colo.; Chickaloon Native Village; Drew, Miss.; Howard County, Md.; National City, Calif.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; Thunder Valley Community— Oglala Lakota Nation (Oceti Sakowin Territory), and Worcester, Mass. Rocky Mount now joins Buncombe County and Durham County as the third North Carolina community to win the distinguished Prize.

To become an RWJF Culture of Health Prize winner, Rocky Mount had to demonstrate how it excelled in the following six criteria:

  • Defining health in the broadest possible terms.
  • Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions.
  • Creating conditions that give everyone a fair and just opportunity to reach their best
    possible health.
  • Maximizing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
  • Securing and making the most of available resources.
  • Measuring and sharing progress and results.

“Our community recognizes that we have accomplished so much through dedication and commitment,” Rocky Mount Mayor Pro Tem Richard Joyner said. “My expectation is that the Culture of Health Prize will be something that inspires our citizens and partners to continue working on improving our community block by block and citizen by citizen.” The Foundation will honor this year’s winners, November 9-10, during a virtual RWJF Culture of Health Prize Celebration and Learning Event. During the event, representatives from the Prize communities will talk through the different ways they are leveraging their strengths and bringing partners together to expand opportunity. The 10 new winners will also connect with their 44 fellow Prize Alumni communities.

City Manager’s Award Program

Recognizing Employees Excelling at Exemplifying the City’s Core Values

The City of Rocky Mount considers its employees to be one of its most valuable assets. The City Manager’s Awards Program is a recognition program that acknowledges employees who go above and beyond the job description requirements and excels at exemplifying the City’s core values: Customer-Centered Service, Professionalism, Respect, Teamwork & Leadership, and Supportive Work Environment.

How do I Nominate an Employee?

The City of Rocky Mount considers its employees to be one of its most valuable assets. The City Manager’s Awards Program is a recognition program that acknowledges employees who go above and beyond the job description requirements and excels at exemplifying the City’s core values: Customer-Centered Service, Professionalism, Respect, Teamwork & Leadership, and Supportive Work Environment.

Option #1

Be sure to read the Eligibility and Nomination requirements, then complete the online form at the bottom of the page.

Option #2

Be sure to read the Eligibility and Nomination requirements, then Download the form and email to jessie.nunery@rockymountnc.gov

Eligibility

All employees beyond the probationary period are eligible for the award. Nominations must be made for accomplishments that occurred within one year prior to the deadline of the current nomination period.

Nominations

    • Nominations for the award can come from any employee or citizen (an employee cannot nominate himself/herself).
    • Nominators must provide detailed, accurate and specific information on what makes their nominee outstanding. Nominators must also explain how the nominee executes the City’s core values.
    • The City Manager may also choose to add employees into consideration for the award, however the nomination form does not need to be completed in this case.
    • Nominations must be submitted on the nomination form which is available on the City of Rocky Mount’s website, in the Communications, Marketing and Public Relations Office and at drop boxes at various locations throughout City Facilities.
    • Deadlines for submission of nominations are: March 31 for the April awards, June 30 for July awards, September 30 for October awards, and November 30 for December awards. Award presentations will be made during the April, July, October, and December Award Luncheon.

Selection Process

Nominations must be received within the specified deadlines in order to be considered. Completed forms may be reviewed by the City Manager, Assistant City Managers and Department Heads. The nominator may be contacted by the City Manager for clarifications or if there is missing information on the nomination form. The City Manager may also choose not to give any awards in a given year. The City Manager will make the final selection of award winners.

Awards

Award recipients will be presented with a custom designed trophy, a certificate and a letter of commendation signed by the City Manager during the quarterly Award Luncheons and recognized at the Annual Employee Luncheon.