Former City Manager Jim Westbrook died yesterday evening in a car wreck in Vass, N.C. Westbrook served as city manager from 1995 to 2005.
The city of Asheville has released the following statement on Westbrook’s passing:
ASHEVILLE – Retired Asheville City Manager James L. Westbrook, Jr., passed away Tuesday evening, Nov. 27. He was 68 years old. Mr. Westbrook retired from the City of Asheville on June 30, 2005 after serving as city manager for more than 10 years. Before coming to Asheville, Mr. Westbrook served as Town Manager in Cary, North Carolina. Prior to his work in Cary, he served in various professional management positions with Catawba County, NC; the City of Petersburg, Virginia; the City of High Point, North Carolina; and Burlington Industries, Inc.
Mr. Westbrook was a retired Colonel of the United States Army Reserve and a veteran of the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.
“Jim Westbrook was a principle-centered leader who led with integrity and devoted his entire life to public sector leadership,” said City Attorney Bob Oast. “His commitment to his profession was unwavering and he will be highly missed by those who knew him.”
In addition to his executive management positions and military service, Mr. Westbrook served on many professional and community boards and received many honors including the International City Manager’s Association (ICMA) In-Service Training Award in 2001 and the Land-of-Sky Regional Council’s Robert G. Parrish Sr. Intergovernmental Relations Award in 2003.
“We are all better people for having known and worked with Mr. Westbrook. His leadership and commitment to excellent public service helped Asheville continue its growth into the vibrant city it is today,” said Mayor Terry Bellamy. “My heart goes out to the Westbrook family.”