Buchanan town manager resigns and accepts new role

BUCHANAN, Va. (WDBJ7) Buchanan's town manager is stepping down to accept a newly-created role in a neighboring community.

Mary Zirkle will begin work as the Economic Development Coordinator for the town of Bedford January 2, according to a statement from the town manager. Zirkle will be the first person to hold the position since Bedford Town Council voted to create the job last summer.

Zirkle's move comes on the heels of an incident in October, when Buchanan town leaders questioned her residency because she did not live full-time in Buchanan. At the time Buchanan town bylaws required the town manager to reside within the town limits. Zirkle owned property in Buchanan, but said her primary residence was in Bedford County.

Zirkle's new position marks a homecoming of sorts, as she previously worked in the Bedford County Department of Planning.

“We are thrilled to add an individual of Mary’s personal and professional caliber to our team here in Bedford," said Bedford Town Manager, Bart Warner. "We think that her experience and ability to match vision with process will provide very tangible benefits for our community.”

In her new role, Warner said Zirkle will promote the amenities, attractions, and activities of the (Bedford) community. She will also administer formal economic development initiatives for the town, Warner said.