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Bob Bobb Tapped for School Post in Detroit

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Former Richmond City Manager Robert Bobb has gotten his wish — sort of.

Bobb has become emergency financial manager for the financially troubled Detroit public school system, according to a Jan 27 report in the Detroit Free Press. The appointment comes not long after he confirmed rumors of his interest in the superintendent's job at Richmond Public Schools.

“The ideal situation for me … would be to go into a real troubled urban school system,” Bobb told Style Weekly in December, confirming long-swirling rumors of his interest in the then-vacant Richmond schools superintendent job.

At the time he was president of the Washington Board of Education, but because of a takeover of that system by D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Bobb had almost no control over the district school system.

Bobb evidently didn't fit Richmond's bill; last week the Richmond School Board voted to hire acting Superintendent Yvonne Brandon to the permanent post.

Unfortunately, Bobb's Motor City concession prize comes with a heavy windfall tax. Michigan's state school superintendent recently declared the Detroit schools a financial emergency. The district is operating at a $129 million deficit, and like the city's auto industry, it hardly has change to pay for tolls let alone fuel for the bus fleet.

In addition to his new duties filling Detroit schools' financial potholes, Bobb may still be a partner in plans to redevelop the Boulevard here in Richmond. His firm, the Robert Bobb Group LLC, was named as a partner in a development agreement signed between the city and Highwoods Properties, which was recently chosen to develop both that corridor and Shockoe Bottom.

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