Southall named to board seat

Published 3:28 pm Thursday, May 24, 2018

Gene A. Southall applied to fill the Farmville 101 District Supervisor seat on the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors and was recently appointed by judges to fill it.

Gene A. Southall

The seat was previously held by the late Howard Simpson, who had served on the board for 27 years. He died Feb. 13.

The board opted not to appoint someone to fill the vacancy within 45 days of the seat becoming vacant, leaving it to judges of the Prince Edward County Circuit Court to seek and appoint someone to fill the seat until a special election can be held for it in November.

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The Prince Edward County Circuit Court Order states that the judges sought applicants for the vacant board position in area newspapers and on area radio stations and “that applicants (and their applications) were considered by the judges.”

“I was honored that the judges selected me to serve from now until November,” Southall said Wednesday.

He noted that he was sworn in last week.

Southall comes to the position with a long history of public service in the county. He had served as Prince Edward County Sheriff for 24 years before retiring in 2000.

“I’ve been retired for a few years, but when the position came open after Howard Simpson’s passing, there wasn’t too many that applied for it, so I applied for it,” he said, affirming his willingness to serve given his knowledge of the people and the area.

He said he has lived in the county for his entire life and in the Farmville 101 District for 12 years.

“My goals are to work with the other board members, the county administrator and work and do the job (as) best I can,” he said.

Farmville 801 District Supervisor and Board Chairwoman Pattie Cooper-Jones said, “I’ve known Mr. Southall for, oh, it’s been a great number of years, and I think he has the potential to be supportive and work with the board.”

She added that his experience as sheriff gave him insights into the county.

Farmville 701 District Supervisor and Board Vice Chairman Jim Wilck, who said he has known Southall for quite some time, also highlighted Southall’s experience as a sheriff.

“Because of that, I think he’s got a good knowledge of the county and a good feeling as far as the working background goes,” he said. “I look forward to working with him.”

Southall left the door open that he could seek to keep the seat by running in the November special election, but he said he had not made a decision.