Salem City Council members unanimously appointed Jay Taliaferro to the position of Interim City Manager at the governing body’s meeting on Monday night. The decision was announced after members emerged from a brief closed session discussion.
“I am honored and humbled that Council has placed this type of confidence in me,” Taliaferro said. “We have some incredible employees in Salem who are dedicated to maintaining the city’s high level of customer service, and I look forward to working closely with each of them.”
Taliaferro began his employment with the City of Salem in 1991 as a Staff Engineer and in 1998, he was named City Engineer. In 2000, he moved into administration as Assistant City Manager, and he has served in that role under both Forest Jones and Kevin Boggess.
“I learned a great deal from my experiences with Forest and Kevin, and I look forward to collaborating with Council on some very exciting projects in the coming months,” he said. “Our goal is to keep Salem moving in a positive and productive direction that will make all of our citizens and visitors proud.”
Taliaferro graduated from Salem High School in 1984 and later earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson and his MPA in Public Administration from Virginia Tech. He has served with a variety of regional organizations over the years ranging from Virginia’s Blue Ridge to the Western Virginia Regional Jail.
“The abrupt change in leadership a couple of weeks ago caused unease and concern for many citizens, business owners and employees of Salem,” Salem Mayor Randy Foley said. “Jay’s knowledge and familiarity with the community provide the reassurance many needed to calm their fears and apprehensions. He’s a professional, and I’m confident he’ll continue the effort to put Salem’s best long-term interests first.”
Jay and his wife, Elizabeth, along with their children, reside in Salem. His father, the late Jim Taliaferro, was Salem’s Mayor from 1974 to 1996.
- Submitted by Mike Stevens, City of Communications Director