CHESAPEAKE – City Manager James E. Baker announced today that he plans to retire in October of 2019, following more than six years of service to the City of Chesapeake. Baker, who began his tenure in Chesapeake in January of 2013, stated that he was providing such a long notice to ensure that the transition to a new City Manager can be an orderly one.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Chesapeake,” Baker said. “While I am extremely proud of the many great strides the City has made and the work we have done, I think that I will miss my daily interactions with our outstanding employees most of all. Chesapeake is a strong, thriving community, blessed with forward-focused leaders at every level, and I am confident that those attributes will serve all of our citizens well in the coming years.”
In announcing his retirement plans to the City staff, Baker cautioned them that, while he’s set a departure timeframe, there is still much work ahead and, “much remains to be done and [his] expectations are even higher for [his] last seven months as City Manager.”
“Replacing a leader with the skills, background, and talent of Jim Baker will be a tall order,” said Chesapeake Mayor Rick West. “Our City has navigated some exceptional challenges in the past six years, from completion of the Dominion Boulevard project to securing the Summit Pointe and Dollar Tree development, to enhancing our strong working relationships with our regional partners. All of these carry the hallmarks of Jim Baker, and each one furthers his legacy of leadership to the City of Chesapeake and its citizens.”
When asked about his retirement plans, Baker said he hopes to spend more time traveling with his wife, visiting with family, and particularly spending time with his first grandchild, born in 2018. Baker also said he may do some teaching and writing, “while I have some stories and experiences worth sharing with others.”
Additional information regarding the transition and recruitment plans for Chesapeake’s next City Manager will be provided as they become available.