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Public Works director leaving for same job in Virginia Beach

Public Works Director L.J. Hansen will be leaving to take the same job with the city of Virginia Beach.

Hansen’s last day will be April 7, and Interim City Manager Al Moor announced that Robert Lewis, currently the assistant director of public works/city engineer, will be the interim director of public works effective April 8.

“Hansen is a proven leader with extensive experience in managing budgets and complex engineering projects,” said Virginia Beach City Manager Patrick Duhaney in a news release. “He will help us advance new initiatives and services that enhance and protect our community.”

A Virginia Beach news release touts Hansen’s more than 20 years of experience in technical and environmental engineering, with a strong background in budgets, fiscal oversight and project management.

Hansen has been Suffolk’s public works director since August 2019, and before that, was the city’s assistant director of public works from 2013 through October 2018, when he was named acting director of public works.

Lewis has worked for the city of Suffolk since 1987, having previously worked for the Virginia Department of Transportation in the Location and Design Division in its Hampton Roads District. He is a fellow in the Institute for Transportation Engineers and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers and the American Public Works Association.

Lewis is the regional chairman of the Transportation Technical Advisory Committee of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization.

Moor also appointed Bob Goumas to serve as the interim director of planning and community development, effective April 1, following the announcement that David Hainley would be retiring at the end of March.

Goumas, who has worked for the city since 1996, has served as the assistant planning director for eight years and has been responsible for directing the current and long-range planning divisions. He has served as the city’s principal comprehensive planner as one of the main architects of its smart growth strategy.

Prior to working for the city, Goumas, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, spent 10 years working in private practice in planning consulting services to many local government clients in the state. He has a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a master’s in urban and regional planning from Virginia Commonwealth University.

The latest appointments will leave the city with 10 people serving in either acting or interim roles in heading key city departments:

  • Interim City Manager — Al Moor
  • Acting Deputy City Manager — Kevin Hughes
  • Interim Chief of Police — Al Chandler
  • Acting Director of Economic Development — Gregory Byrd
  • Interim Director of Public Utilities — Paul Retel
  • Interim Director of Information Technology — Regina Chandler
  • Acting Director of Social Services — Harry Cromer
  • Acting Chief of Staff — Azeez Felder
  • Interim Director of Planning and Community Development — Bob Goumas (effective April 1)
  • Interim Director of Public Works — Robert Lewis (effective April 8)

In February, City Council appointed Holt W. “Billy” Butt as city assessor after Maria Skinner had served as interim city assessor since October after Jean Jackson announced her retirement.

Council was meeting March 24 in closed session as part of its search for a new city manager after Patrick Roberts stepped down last October.