SERWAN ZANGANA: How Can We Trust Sam Roman As Assistant City Manager?

In a quick move by the Roanoke City Council, Sam Roman, the Chief of Roanoke police, recently became an assistant City Manager – a position which was created for him specifically. Now, Roanoke City effectively has two city managers.

The question is, how did this happen? And is it ethical for Roanoke City Council members to create a (no need) position that pays $153,000 dollars from taxpayers’ money? 

Clearly, Sam Roman has failed in performing his duty as the Police Chief of Roanoke City as the crime rates have increased and violent shootings have now become part of people’s daily lives. Mr. Roman was not even able to set an example as a leader for the police officers in Roanoke. Remember that in 2021, a survey by the Roanoke Police Association showed the disappointment by the officers – some of whom called for his resignation.

Obviously, it is part of the era of corruption. I have said it many times, that I was born and raised in Iraq under the rule of the most corrupt of politicians but I must confess that the Roanoke City politicians have in many ways exceeded the Iraqi politicians. They are crafty in deceiving the citizens with bright rhetoric and words such as “diversity, equality, equity, and justice” especially for minorities – but the minorities in Roanoke City are the group that is most hurt under the rule of Roanoke City government.

With a population of nearly 100,000, Roanoke City definitely does not need two assistant  managers which is clearly a sign of corruption and manipulation in the City. However, while the City officials are raising property taxes on hardworking people, the members of Council are deepening their political roots in the city by hiring their friends and peers and spending the taxpayers’ money without mercy.

Sam Roman is completely unqualified for the City assistant manager position and Roanoke City deserves far better. He was not successful as a uniformed person and based on his background he will not be able to handle the City’s responsibilities. Perhaps, he will follow the same path as the members of Roanoke City Council, which is that of overt failure.

By reading Roanoke City’s website which posted a position of Assistant City Manager in 2019, and comparing the qualifications that were required for such a position, I could not see one qualification that exists in Sam Roman. For example, the duties and responsibilities that were required included: leadership, management, supervision of activities and departments, participation with teams in budget preparation, researching and recommending improvements to new or current departmental operations and other responsibilities related to safety and improvement of the City.

Mr Roman completely lacks these qualifications as his history in the Roanoke City Police Department proves. If he has been unable to run an operation as a law enforcement officer to provide safety for the Roanoke, how we can trust him to be an Assistant City Manager to oversee and develop our city?

– Serwan Zangana supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S Army translator before coming to the U.S from Kurdistan, Iraq in 1997 to seek political asylum. He was granted asylum status and years later proudly became a U.S citizen. He currently serves as a correction officer in Roanoke.

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