BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – Bill Sorah was appointed by the Bristol Tennessee City Council to serve as city manager in January 2014. Friday marks the end of his time in the role, as he steps down nearly a decade later.
Sorah has over forty years of experience in local government management, including roles in both Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia.
“The proudest moment is not any politics project; it’s working with people here,” Sorah said. “That’s the best part of this job: the opportunity to work with the individuals within this organization. That meets our citizens’ needs on a daily basis.”
The office of the city manager is responsible for the overall administration of the city. The city manager is responsible for preparing the annual budget and capital improvement program, preparing a complete report on the finances and administrative activities of the city yearly and keeping the city council informed of the operations of city departments and activities.
Sorah said the success of the city isn’t just on him, but on the staff as well.
“It belongs to the staff,” he said. “It belongs to the city council, it belongs to citizens. It belongs to many of the partnerships that we have with developers, with nonprofit organizations, with our state legislative delegation, our federal legislative delegation.”
Retirement may sound strange to Sorah after two decades with the city, but he’s looking forward to a new journey in his life.
“It’s time to see what that chapter has to offer for me and my wife,” he said. “We have to do a considerable amount of travel over the next few years.”
Sorah also said he wants to remain close to the community and stay involved in the community, “in a different way and perhaps volunteer capacity.”
He said he believes the new city manager will take the same amount of pride in Bristol that he has.
“We have prepared sites that are primed for growth within our community beyond just the industrial infrastructure,” Sorah said. “Our education system, our roadway network, our potable water and our sanitary sewer systems have ample capacity to address this, this growth that I do think is coming to our community.”
In February, the City of Bristol, Tennessee announced that it had reached an employment agreement with Kelli Bourgeois. She is set to take office on April 19, and Tom Anderson will serve as interim city manager.