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Carrboro selects Winston-Salem assistant city manager Patrice Toney as new town manager

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Photo courtesy of Jessica F Simmons.

On May 6, Patrice Toney, assistant city manager for Winston-Salem, will begin her new role as the Carrboro town manager.

Toney, who has previously worked as the interim city manager for Winston-Salem, said she is excited about her new role and Carrboro.

The news of her selection was announced on March 28 during a Carrboro Town Council meeting. Carrboro Mayor Barbara Foushee said she is ready for Toney’s arrival.

“Myself along with my colleagues are very excited for her to come and be our next town manager," Foushee said. "She brings over 25 years of local government experience, and what's also impressive is how she's kind of worked her way up through the ranks.”

Foushee said Toney’s experience working in different manager positions is really key for the Town.

Carrboro is entering its budget season and there are parts of the Town's comprehensive plan she wants to see implemented, Foushee said. The Town's 2022-2042 plan includes priorities such as community engagement, affordable housing, the environment and transportation. 

 “So we want a very dynamic and experienced town manager, and we feel like we have that in Ms. Toney," she said. 

Toney said the comprehensive plan and the priorities of the mayor and council will be her guide in leading the Town. She also said her personal values of race equity and environmental sustainability align with Carrboro's progressive community.

The seven elected council members, including the mayor, appoint the town manager. The council sets policies, while the town manager oversees day-to-day operations. As town manager, Toney will coordinate a staff of 200 and manage an approximately $81 million annual budget.

As interim city manager in Winston-Salem, Toney was in charge of a $500 million budget. Even with the differences in budget, Foushee said she is confident in Toney’s ability to adjust.

"I think with her years of experience and getting some groundwork as we start to go into our budget season, I think she'll do just fine," Foushee said.

Toney’s leadership style follows a servant leadership philosophy, Foushee said. Through the application interview, Foushee said Toney discussed the importance of actively listening to employees, maintaining positive relationships with them, investing in their professional growth and effectively managing the council's various needs and requests.

William Penn Jr., chief of police at the Winston-Salem Police Department, said he is appreciative of Toney's leadership. He said Toney can communicate with people through differences.

Penn said the City of Winston-Salem will miss Toney, but it wishes her luck in the future. 

"She was a quick learner, but she also allowed us to do our job," Penn said. "So she wasn't a micromanager, but she stayed on top of what we were doing. So I'm definitely going to miss her. I think Carrboro has a good one.”

Toney said her background, experiences and professional development over the years have prepared her for the new position.

“I'm just excited about what Carrboro already represents and how I can further the goals and the mission of the Town in a way that supports the current residents and future residents of the community,” she said.

@DTHCityState |


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