SUFFOLK, VA – The City Council voted to make Jim Vacalis the permanent city manager on Feb. 21, according to The Virginian-Pilot. The leadership change illustrates the philosophical shift on the City Council that fired City Manager Steve Herbert in July largely because council members felt he wielded too much power and didn’t carry out their wishes.

Vacalis, a 34-year Suffolk city government veteran, was an assistant city manager under Herbert. He was promoted to interim city manager the day Herbert was fired. Unlike Herbert, who frequently clashed with some council members, Vacalis’ public relationship with the City Council so far has been one of amiable deference.

Some council members said Wednesday that it’s important to have a permanent city manager to indicate stability when going for bond refinancing, which the City Council is about to do.