Daily Reports




Villa Rica hires new Deputy City Manager, Community Development Director

(City of Villa Rica Media Release)

The Villa Rica City Council on Tuesday approved the hiring of two new city officers during the regular May council meeting.

Diana DeSanto, formerly of the City of Acworth, will serve as Villa Rica’s new Deputy City Manager beginning in June. 

Nina Shabazz, formerly an employee of Gwinnett County, will serve as Villa Rica’s Director of Community Development. The city’s current Director, Tracy Jarvis, will become the city’s Facilities Director, a new position.

Ms. DeSanto succeeds Sarah Andrews, who served as Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer from 2021 until October of last year. Ms. Andrews, who had been an employee of the city since 2015, is now employed in Villa Rica’s private sector.

As Deputy City Manager, Ms. DeSanto will work with City Manager Tom Barber to supervise the day-to-day operations of the city. Both officers implement the policies set by the mayor and city council.

Ms. DeSanto will directly oversee eight of the city’s 12 departments, including Finance, Parks and Recreation, Human Resources, the Pine Mountain Gold Museum, Tourism, Main Street, and Communications.

Until recently, Ms. DeSanto served as Deputy City Manager of Support Services and City Treasurer for the City of Acworth, a post she had held since 2019. Previously she had worked as Finance Director for the City of Powder Springs, where she also served as Deputy City Manager for three years prior. She has also worked as an accountant for Cobb County’s government.

Ms. DeSanto is a graduate of Kennesaw State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2004, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration in 2009.

The City Council also approved the hiring of Nina Shabazz to serve as the city’s new Community Development Director.

The current Director, Tracy Jarvis, will move into the new position of Facilities Director.

As Community Development Director, Ms. Shabazz will oversee Planning and Zoning, Code Enforcement, and Licensing.

Ms. Shabazz had served as Senior Long Range Planner for Gwinnett County. Previously, she was a Master Planning Consultant for Vernadero-Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and had planning positions with the County of San Bernardino, California, and the City of Moreno Valley, California.

Ms. Shabazz is a graduate of California State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the Pomona campus, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration at the San Bernadino campus.


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