By Tameka Kenan-Norman, City of Rocky Mount
After 35 years in local government and 23 years with the city of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, City Manager Charles Penny announced his retirement at the end of a closed session during the January 23, 2017 council meeting. January 1, 2017 had marked the beginning of Penny’s seventh year as city manager.
“Thank you for the opportunity to fulfill a career goal of becoming a city manager,” said Penny to the members of the Rocky Mount City Council. “The experience in Rocky Mount has fully met my expectations; however, I have decided to retire as city manager effective April 1, 2017.”
Numerous accomplishments occurred during Penny’s tenure, most notably completion of the Duke Energy purchase of the Power Agency’s assets, resulting in reductions of customers’ electric utility bills. Penny and the city’s vision for revitalizing the city center has begun with approval of the Downtown Community Facility. Most recently, the city received AA+ ratings from Fitch and an Aa2 rating from Moody’s, demonstrating that the city of Rocky Mount is in excellent financial condition. The city also completed a housing study and is using the included suggestions to improve the quality of life in Rocky Mount’s inner city.
With the success of the Rocky Mount Sports Complex, the tremendous potential at the Rocky Mount Brewmill and the announcement of CSX, Penny says Rocky Mount has a reason to be excited about its future. The Fayetteville NC native has also seen tremendous progress since joining the city of Rocky Mount in 1994.
Penny started his career with the city as director of Planning and Development. In January 1995, he was appointed to assistant city manager, and he became city manager of Rocky Mount January 2011. Prior to joining the city of Rocky Mount, Penny was assistant to the city manager in Morganton NC. Later, he served in a similar capacity in Kinston NC. and worked as assistant city manager in Asheville NC.
“I am committed to work hard every day for the city until I can officially retire,” Penny told the council. “However, now is the optimal time for council to select a new city manager and to bring the established vision to fruition over the next five to 10 years.”
Penny is married to Edith. They have two adult children-Eva and Chas.