Mumpower selected as Bristol, VA mayor, Wingard for vice mayor

Bristol, VA Mayor Kevin Mumpower (Cropped - Photo Credit: Rick Belcher)

BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – The Bristol, Virginia city council met Monday morning for their annual restructuring and elected Kevin Mumpower to be the new mayor.

Kevin Wingard was selected as vice mayor.

The city council holds a meeting every year at the beginning of July to restructure city leadership.

They also decided to let City Manager Tabitha Crowder go and selected Randall Eads, the city attorney, to be the interim city manager.

The council is expected to hire a permanent manager in the next 90 to 120 days.

Mumpower said the council felt it was necessary to make a change in leadership in order for the city’s vision to move forward.

“Through all the discussions the council felt like there was some new leadership needed to get us in that direction,” Mumpower said.

Mumpower said the big issue the council wants to tackle this year is economic growth.

“We’ve got to grow ourselves to prosperity, you know,” Mumpower said. “We’re going to have to really work on getting the economic growth of the city going in the right direction. So we’re going to look at a new economic development process where we really go outside of our little city limits here to really establish a powerful economic development engine for this whole region.”

Mumpower and Eads met after the meeting to lay out a set of objectives for the city.

These objectives include a financial policy review, executing the 2018 comprehensive plan, an analysis of city staffing needs and taking a look at how money has been used by the city in the last several years.

“We can be a better city,” Eads said. “We want to work collectively together as a council, as an administration and with the citizens so that we can do a great job for the citizens here in Bristol.”

Mumpower also said they are planning to continue moving forward with the Falls development and that the city will work to fulfill its responsibilities in the project.

“We’re going to continue to support that and make sure it’s done right,” Mumpower said. “And if at some point in time we need to do something different we will sit down and talk about what needs to be done different if it doesn’t develop properly.”

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