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John Cartwright, former city manager of Manassas, dies in Michigan

The City of Manassas is sad to report that John G. Cartwright, Former City of Manassas City Manager (1986-1999), has passed away in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, according to a news release from Patty Prince, the city’s communications manager.

When John Cartwright arrived in Manassas in 1986, it was the fastest growing city in the commonwealth.  With this growth came new government challenges in which Cartwright accepted and thrived.  When he first arrived, the Wellington community was a dairy farm and Metz Junior High School had not been built.

He had an open-door policy and decided early to attend every meeting he “heard about” to get acquainted with the community.  His open-door policy extended to staff, residents and reporters alike.  Over Cartwright’s tenure, he often commented about the wonderful people in the City of Manassas and how they made his job easier. 

“John was the first City Manager with whom I served,” said Mayor Harry J. Parrish II.  “He was the consummate professional and had the great respect of not only our Council, but our entire staff within our City departments.  I remember a moment that may seem small to some but meant great things for our City and to me.  John and I were walking together in City Hall and I asked him the most important part of his job and what he enjoyed the most.  His answer…  working with Council and creating a budget to serve our Citizens each year.  He did both, so well, and the City, our Citizens and our Council and staff benefitted by his professional service to Manassas.”

Cartwright was a huge University of Michigan fan as he received his graduate degree there and would bring back stadium cups and Petoskey stones for staff from his trips to Michigan.

In 1999, after managing cities for more than 40 years in five states, Cartwright and his wife C.J. retired back to Traverse City, Michigan to their dream house on Long Lake. 

The City’s thoughts and prayers are with his wife, four children and grandchildren, Prince said.

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