By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer
Mr. Jay Scudder, the Fluvanna County Administrator, resigned abruptly after the November 2nd Board of Supervisors public meeting. The Board had gone into closed session to discuss Mr. Scudder’s job performance after his initial year in the position.
According to multiple sources, a strong majority of the Board was not pleased with Scudder’s performance and voted not to retain him. Since Scudder was not fired for cause, he was eligible for a financial severance package but chose instead to resign.
The Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, John Gooch, will be the acting county administrator. He met with the county staff Thursday morning to deliver the news.
According to multiple sources, Scudder alienated the staff almost from the outset of his tenure and never managed to gain their confidence. Supervisors became aware of the problem and also had their own difficulties with the administrator. Some believed as administrator, he was developing his own agenda and was not as supportive of the Board’s policies as he might have been.
Sources also indicate that Supervisors were particularly concerned about the upcoming budget and did not feel that Scudder had sufficient command of the budgetary issues facing the county. In addition, Scudder publically advocated for several acquaintances to receive consulting jobs with the county. Several supervisors expressed disappointment in such advocacy.
The last time Fluvanna advertised for a county administrator, it had a difficult time finding someone who was qualified for the position, and employed a management search firm. The Board is expected to do the same thing again.
In the public Board meeting proper, supervisors:
· Unanimously approved the Thomas Jefferson Planning District’s legislative agenda for 2012;
· Approved 5-1 (Weaver dissenting) the economic development plan recommended by the County’s Economic Development Commission;
· Approved 5-1 (Weaver dissenting) the Pleasant Grove Park Master Plan; and,
· Were briefed on the County’s volunteer rescue squad’s inability to provide sufficient service to the county. Supervisors Kenney (Columbia) and Fairchild (Rivanna) will join a committee to find solutions to the problem, including the possibility of paid rescue squad members.
The Board’s next meeting will be held on November 16th, and it will consider amendments to the Planned Unit Development ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan regarding Urban Development Areas.
William Des Rochers serves as Free Enterprise Forum’s Fluvanna County Field Officer. The Free Enterprise Forum is a privately funded public policy organization covering Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson county as well as the City of Charlottesville.
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