Christopher Dorsey has been named City Manager for the City of Salem, effective January 2, 2024. Salem City Council members formally introduced him at the end of their December 11 meeting after unanimously approving his appointment to lead the city.
“I am honored and humbled to have been chosen to be Salem’s new city manager,” Dorsey said. “I am aware that the city has a proven track record in the region and throughout the state and I feel very fortunate to have been selected for this position.”
Dorsey, who currently lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will be the seventh manager to lead the city since 1968 when Salem relinquished its town status and became an independent city. He replaces Jay Taliaferro who retired November 1 of this year after 32 years of service to the city in various capacities, including the past four in the city manager’s office.
“Leading Virginia’s Championship City is an incredible honor, and I am looking forward to working with the mayor and city council to keep Salem moving forward.” he said. “Most importantly, I am excited to meet the many employees I will be working with in the various departments. They are the ones on the front-line taking care of our citizens and visitors in so many ways every day.”
Dorsey was selected from nearly 50 candidates, and he brings a wealth of local government experiences to Salem. He last served as the City Manager of East Ridge, Tennessee and prior to that he was the City Administrator in Sparta, Tennessee. He also was the Town Manager in Signal Mountain, Tennessee and a City Manager in Red Bank, Tennessee.
His background also includes public service in the financial world. He was the Budget Director for the office of management and budget for Pasco County, Florida. He also worked for 18 years in Memphis, Tennessee local government where he held a number of positions including Budget Manager for the city.
“We are thrilled to have Chris join our community to lead our city management team and our dedicated employees in the City of Salem,” Mayor Renee Turk said. “His extensive local government experience and strong financial background, along with his focus on communication and teamwork, make him the ideal fit for our city.”
Dorsey achieved his Master of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Political Science from the University of Tennessee. He holds a certification from the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service’s Local Government Leadership Program, and he is a Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO).
Dorsey also attended the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) Municipal Management Academy and the Elected Officials Academy. He is a graduate of the Junior Chamber International’s EXCEL Program as a Certified National Trainer (CNT), which qualifies him to train in seminars and workshops across the country.
The city council conducted a national search for Salem’s new city manager, assisted by The Berkley Group of Bridgewater, Virginia. The Berkley Group processed applications and conducted initial interviews with the most qualified candidates. It then assisted with selecting finalists who were interviewed by all five council members.
“The council was very pleased with the quality of our candidates, and I’m pleased to have the selection behind us,” Vice Mayor Jim Wallace said. “Our strong applicant pool was a testament to our great city and how desirable Salem is as a place to live and work. Council is excited to have Mr. Dorsey on Salem’s team, and we are expecting great things from him.”
|SALEM'S PREVIOUS CITY MANAGERS
|1968 (Also, Salem's Town Manager 1943-1968