In June of 2016, Kimball Payne retired after 15 years as Lynchburg City Manager and over 32 years of local government service. One of the most well-known and respected local government managers in Virginia, Kim recently joined the Berkley Group as an Executive Manager in our Executive Transition Assistance program. As part of our Staff Spotlight series, I asked Kim about his experience and accomplishments in local government.
Why did you get into this line of work? What motivates you?
I got into local government management after almost 8 years of active duty in the Navy. I wanted to continue to be of service, but I didn't want the lifestyle and challenges of the military due to the potential negative impact on my family. I also wanted to stay in Virginia, or maybe North Carolina.
I am motivated by a desire to improve the community in which I live and serve, leaving it better for the future. I enjoy serving others.
What was your favorite job and why did you like it?
I really enjoyed being City Manager of Lynchburg. There is a strong sense of community and many challenges to address. It's kind of my home town and that was gratifying. I feel like I made a positive difference with the team that we had.
What’s your management strategy? How would someone describe your leadership style?
I believe in teamwork, supporting my staff through interest in what they do, and trying to put resources, policies, and procedures in place for them to be successful. My leadership style would be described as visionary and collaborative.
Looking back at where you were when you started this journey, where did you think it was going to lead you?
I had no idea, but it has been a great journey.
What were your biggest accomplishments or success stories?
Developing effective teams of public employees in two local governments; the clean-up, renovation, and re-use of a significant brownfield site in Spotsylvania County; strong financial management; renovation of Lynchburg's baseball stadium to keep its minor league team; financing of a new high school in Lynchburg; and participating in the Lynchburg Community Dialogue on Race and Racism forum series.
Looking out 3 to 5 years, beyond the obvious trends, what do you think will be the next big change in our industry?
Less and less financial support from the Federal and State governments, while mandates continue.
Figuring out how to effectively engage citizens in the age of social media.
Millennials moving into positions of power and authority as either elected officials or local government managers. They have a lot to clean up from the baby boomers.