By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
Fluvanna County Administrator Steve Nichols announced his retirement effective July 5, 2019. “Thank you very much for the opportunity,” Nichols told the Board of Supervisors at the December 19 meeting. Nichols has served in this capacity since 2012 [Fluvanna Gets A New County Administrator].
Nichols cited his wife and he have been discussing his retirement and the timing was good for his family. He joked he wanted to be goof off, gopher and golfer while attending less meetings in retirement. Even displayed a few Bitmojis of himself getting ready for the “permanent vacation.”
After the meeting, Nichols touted progress achieved during his tenure. “This board believes and trusts this staff. I’ve been part of that, but all my staff has be part of that. This board is a very supportive board. We’ve made progress because of that relationship between staff members and board members,” said Nichols.
“I think he’s been a great servant to our county,” said chairman Mike Sheridan (Columbia District). “One of the things he and I have talked about is we haven’t always seen eye to eye but we all have the same goal: we want to move Fluvanna County forward. I wish him well.”
Mozell Booker (Fork Union District) was partly surprised he retired and she hoped he had four years left. “The county is in good shape because of him,” said Booker. She lauded his leadership and naval background as being attributes that led him well in his role in government.
Tony O’Brien (Rivanna District) echoed her thoughts, “[He’s an] extremely hard worker, very committed to the success of the county. He helped guide the board through some very difficult times. [He’s] always put the county first, we’ve been so lucky to have him.”
In his retirement letter, Nichols spent over a quarter of it suggesting the supervisors skip the search for a replacement and name deputy county administrator Eric Dahl to the role.
“It is my hope that you will quickly come to the same conclusion and select Eric to become county administrator when I depart,” wrote Nichols.
Dahl started at the county prior to Nichols and worked as second in the finance department before being named the director. A few years ago the supervisors approve adding deputy county administrator to his title.
“I’ve enjoyed working with him. We’ve had a great working relationship,” said Dahl after the meeting. “I appreciate what he said.”
Booker and O’Brien offered no comment on the suggestion of Dahl as the replacement.
Nichols final day, July 5, 2019, is slated to be a Board of Supervisors meeting. He mentioned he picked the date so his successor would have a month before having a supervisor meeting to prepare for.
The Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Fluvanna County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and by the support of readers like you.
Photo Credits: Fluvanna County
FROM STAFF REPORTS — STANARDSVILLE– After an eleven month search, the Greene County Board of Supervisors will introduce their newly hired County Administrator at tomorrow night’s (6/25) regularly scheduled meeting. John Barkley, most recently Town Manager of Round Hill, Virginia, will officially assume his new duties on July 8th.
Board Chairman Jim Frydl said, “The Board was impressed with Mr. Barkley’s experience, management style, communication skills and his proactive engagement with citizens and businesses. Fulfilling the position of administrator in a county as diverse as Greene is challenging, but the Board firmly believes Barkley will execute the job well and is confident that the community will come to appreciate his leadership”.
As Town Manager of Round Hill, Barkley was responsible for Operational and Capital Budgeting, Planning and Zoning, Investments, Human Resources, Economic Development, and the operation of a regional Water and Sewer Utility.
“Throughout the interview process, I have been taken by Greene County’s beauty and charm”, Barkley said. “My family and I are looking forward to making Greene our home”.
After Barkley received an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland at College Park and later earned a Masters degree in Public Administration from the Schaefer Center for Public Policy, University of Baltimore, he began his career as a Management and Program Analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, DC. He then spent four years as Special aid to the Mayor, City of Baltimore, Maryland. Barkley learned personnel and finance skills as Director of Finance and Human Resources, Baltimore Metropolitan Council, Baltimore, Maryland. Barkley then held positions of increasing responsibility starting as the City Administrative Officer, City of New Carrollton, MD and progressing as Town Manager of Dumfries, VA, Colonial Beach, VA, and finally for the past five years as the Town Manager of the Town Of Round Hill, Virginia.
Image Credit: Linked In
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.
If you find this update helpful, please consider financially supporting these efforts.