City Manager

Form of Government

Winston-Salem operates under a council-manager form of government, as do other large cities in North Carolina. Under this form of government, the city council determines city policies. The city manager is hired by the city council to put those policies into action and to oversee the day-to-day operations of the city.


This form of government allows city residents, through the city council, to control the direction of city government while ensuring professional administration of city functions. This hierarchy is illustrated by the organization chart for city government. At the top are the citizens of Winston-Salem who elect the mayor and the city council. The city council hires the city manager and the city attorney. All other city employees are hired by the city manager. 

Some city departments report directly to the city manager. Others are placed under the supervision of the assistant city managers.

City Manager W. Patrick Pate

W. Patrick Pate has worked for the city of Manassas since 2013. Before that, he worked for the city of High Point as assistant city manager from 1999 to 2013. He was the budget and evaluation director for the city of Greensboro from 1990 to 1999, and budget and research manager there from 1987 to 1990. He held three positions with the city of Winston-Salem—lead budget and evaluation analyst in 1987; budget and evaluation analyst from 1986 to 1987 and budget and financial analyst intern from 1985 to 1986.

He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and religion, and a master’s of public administration, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.