Cincinnati City Council today unanimously approved City Solicitor Paula Boggs Muething as acting city manager when current manager Patrick Duhaney leaves his post.
Duhaney has accepted a position as city manager of Virginia Beach. He has said he will leave his current position July 20.
Boggs Muething will be the city's second female city manager and the first Asian American to hold the role.
She has been solicitor since late 2014. The city solicitor's office represents the city in lawsuits and helps council members draw up the legal language for legislation.
Prior to her time with the city, Boggs Muething was vice president of community revitalization at The Port. She graduated from University of Cincinnati's College of Law in 2003 and later attended Harvard's Kennedy School. She started her career as a litigator for the City of Cincinnati.
Duhaney recommended Boggs Muething as his successor. Mayor John Cranley wrote that she had his "unqualified support."
"She is one of the smartest, effective, and principle-based public servants I have ever known," he wrote in response to Duhaney's recommendation. "I believe she will not only manage these times, but help the city make history in building a more inclusive community."
Council members today showered both Duhaney and Boggs Muething with praise.
"Virginia Beach is getting a gem, and we're suffering a huge loss," council member Wendell Young said of Duhaney's departure.
Council member P.G. Sittenfeld added that many sane people wouldn't take the daunting job of city manager — especially when the city and others face protests over racial injustice, the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. One of Duhanehy's last acts was drawing up a budget that had to address a $73 million shortfall due to the pandemic.
"This is obviously a history making thing in its own right," Sittenfeld said to Boggs Muething. "You’re patient and you’re responsive. Thank you for your willingness to do this."
Boggs Muething's position is temporary, but there currently isn't a timeline for finding a permanent city manager.