On January 16, 2020, City Manager Eden E. Freeman submitted her resignation to accept a position as Deputy City Manager for the City of Greenville, SC in order to be geographically closer to her aging parents. Her last day with the City of Winchester will be March 16, 2020 and she will begin her service at the City of Greenville, SC on March 23, 2020.
“This was not a decision that I made lightly, as it has been my great privilege to lead and serve alongside the City’s amazing team of devoted public servants,” stated Ms. Freeman. “While I am very excited about the opportunity to serve in Greenville, it is also bittersweet as I will greatly miss the all the friends I have made in Winchester. I sincerely appreciate the support that I have received from residents, City staff and Council in both good times and bad.”
“While I understand her reasons and wish her great happiness in her next adventure, receiving Ms. Freeman’s resignation was unexpected and not something I wanted to accept,” stated Mayor John David Smith, Jr. “I have been very proud to work side by side with Ms. Freeman and I am grateful for the lasting impact she has made on me, in the city and to all the people who were lucky enough to really get to know her. She is a strong, intelligent, resilient and upstanding woman who will be successful wherever she goes because of her unwavering dedication to public service and doing what is right and ethical.”
Ms. Freeman was appointed by Council on June 24, 2014 and began her service on July 21, 2014. Since then, Ms. Freeman has led many initiatives to improve government operations and help move the City forward. Highlights of selected City accomplishments during Ms. Freeman’s tenure include:
- Grew City’s fund balance reserve from 19% to 25% and reaffirmed City’s AAA bond rating three times
- Led the development and adoption of a significantly revised and expanded strategic plan
- Enhanced government transparency, efficiency and communications (Examples: OpenGov budget transparency tool, more information available online, mobile app, 3-1-1 service request system, online FOIA management system, electronic agenda management process, informational calendar, podcasts, and more)
- Increased emphasis on emergency management and preparedness
- Purchased the City’s first fire and rescue apparatus
- Significant Projects: Rouss City Hall renovation, radio communications system upgrade, National Avenue roundabout, Meadow Branch Avenue extension, Kent Street improvements, Joint Judicial Center renovation
- Dramatically improved citizen survey satisfaction results
- Winchester Recognitions: Forbes named Winchester #1 small metro area for business in careers and #9 in the U.S.; great place to retire by Readers Digest, Forbes, Where to Retire Magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine; and many more.
“Winchester will always have a special place in my heart, and I am thankful for the many wonderful memories I have made here,” said Ms. Freeman.