In the news: Brentwood businesses sue city, Maplewood hires city manager; also, Maplewood announces new city manager hiring

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From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Some Brentwood businesses along Manchester Road between Mary Avenue and Hanley Road are suing the city, which is trying to remove them through eminent domain. Also, two articles from Post-Dispatch political reporter Joe Holleman on Maplewood hiring its new city manager.

From the city of Maplewood, its press release on hiring a new city manager.

CITY OF MAPLEWOOD ANNOUNCES NEW CITY MANAGER

MAPLEWOOD, MO (December 13, 2023) – The Maplewood City Council announced the selection of Amber Withycombe to serve as Maplewood’s next city manager at the December 12 City Council meeting.  Withycombe will begin her tenure as city manager on January 4, 2024.

Withycombe has more than two decades of professional experience in management, operations, resource development, and communications for tax-supported and nonprofit institutions across five states. She has an extensive background in developing and leading teams, building organizational capacity, and managing change. A resident of Maplewood since 2014, she was appointed in 2020 to serve on the city’s Plan and Zoning Commission, which has prioritized the stabilization, preservation, and production of affordable housing. Withycombe is a former volunteer for MapleGOOD, a local organization created to increase community access to essential services and resources. In 2021, she was elected to the Maplewood Richmond Heights Board of Education, where she worked with her board colleagues and district administrators to develop and implement policies related to educational equity, academic freedom, and protections for LGBTQIA students and staff. As a board officer, she has been responsible for leading governance decisions related to the district’s capital improvement needs, as well as the creation, adoption, and implementation of the district’s five-year strategic plan.

“Maplewood municipal operations have matured and stabilized over the last four decades due to the outstanding efforts and investments of previous and current city leaders, our business community and school district, homeowners, renters, and our dedicated board and commission members. Today, our city faces growing long-range planning needs related to financial stability, housing affordability, inclusive economic growth, public safety, human services, environmental sustainability, and regional collaboration,” said Withycombe. “Maplewood’s city staff are deeply dedicated to their work, and I am eager to support them in exercising their talents to meet those needs for the benefit of all residents. I am humbled to have an opportunity to serve our community in a more significant capacity, and I look forward to partnering with Maplewood’s many stakeholders to ensure our city’s continued vitality.”

With her appointment, Withycombe will become Maplewood’s first female city manager. She holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA from the University of Iowa. She will receive a Master of Public Administration with a focus on local government management and public sector leadership from SIU Edwardsville in 2024.

Amber Withycombe was appointed to serve as Maplewood’s new city manager at the Dec. 12 city council meeting. Photo via city of Maplewood.