Murray to leave Strasburg for Winchester job

Kimberly Murray

Strasburg’s Economic Development and Planning Manager Kimberly Murray plans to leave to take a similar job in Winchester.

City Manager Eden Freeman announced Thursday she had selected Murray as the new economic redevelopment director. Murray begins her new job March 23 at a starting salary of $100,000.

Winchester provides some interesting economic development opportunities, Murray said. Winchester officials recently completed an economic development strategic plan and the city has potential sites for growth, she added.

“They’ve kind of put that plan in place and now they’re looking for someone to really help them implement that,” Murray said. “I like the idea of [City] Council being supportive of economic development.”

For Strasburg, Murray served a dual role of leading economic development and handling planning activities such as permitting and zoning regulations. Much of her work focused more on the latter and she had to spend a lot of time creating the Unified Development Ordinance that combined the zoning and subdivision regulations.

“I think that was a really fantastic leadership opportunity to work with the [Town] Council on our economic development goals and I think that they needed someone to provide a little guidance and help them see some of the things they could do,” Murray said. “I think they’re on a great path. They’ve got a lot of really excellent projects lined up ready to go in the downtown.

“This opportunity in Winchester, I’m going to be able to focus strictly on economic redevelopment and be able to pursue that 100 percent of the time and, with the town of Strasburg, I was juggling a bunch of different roles and this position enables me to focus solely on those efforts, which I think will be of benefit to the city,” Murray added. “But I’m really pleased to [have] worked with the town, play a role, a small part of their downtown effort.”

Strasburg’s acting Town Manager Jay McKinley said Murray submitted her resignation earlier that day. Murray’s last day is March 13, McKinley said. Murray started her job in Strasburg in June 2013 after the town created the new position.

“Obviously, we’re looking for a replacement town manager so we’re down another key position so that just increases our workload,” McKinley said. “But that’s not a problem. We’ll overcome.”

Strasburg likely will try to find a replacement for Murray, McKinley said. Whether Town Council wants to wait until they hire a new town manager remains uncertain. Council plans to have a new town manager hired in time to start July 1.

“She was an excellent employee,” McKinley said. “She had some great economic development ideas and we’re sorry to see her go.”

Murray and her husband live in Strasburg with their three children. Prior to joining Strasburg, Murray worked in various government jobs in Vermont.

The city received 97 applications in its search for a replacement for Jim Deskins, who resigned last year.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com