A note of encouragement

Published 7:03 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors is entering a time of key transition in the next several weeks. Buffalo District Supervisor C.R. “Bob” Timmons Jr., who has been an influential member of the board for the past five years, will be resigning Jan. 31 with three years left on his term.

In his statement announcing his resignation, Timmons said, “I move that this board continue to maintain control of its destiny by appointing my successor and authorizing the advertisement for my replacement.”

There are different variables involved with how the selection of Timmons’ successor can take place, but we wish the board the best and that it would exercise great wisdom in its next steps.

Email newsletter signup

The importance of this transition is intensified to us because of how highly we regard the board’s recent performance.

We echo much of the high praise Timmons offered in his statement for how effectively and efficiently the board has been operating.

One of the most obvious and powerful examples of the board’s efficacy was announced by the governor of Virginia himself less than a month ago. Gov. Ralph Northam came to the county Dec. 19 to announce that YakAttack LLC was moving to Prince Edward and expanding its manufacturing operation. The project involves an investment of $3.4 million and is expected to bring at least 34 new jobs to the community.

Farmville 801 District Supervisor Pattie Cooper-Jones, who was chair in 2018, recognized her fellow supervisors during that press conference as she highlighted all of the work that went into making YakAttack’s arrival possible.

Timmons noted in his statement that the board has been able to keep taxes low in the midst of its work.

“Over the past five years, the county has underrun its annual budget while at the same time improving the county’s services to its citizens,” he said. “The annual underrun of the county budget has been used to increase its fund balance. Additionally, the county’s debt service has decreased …”

These are all things that we hope to see from our federal government only to be left routinely disappointed.

Timmons underscored how selfless board members have been, setting aside personal agendas to fulfill the goal of serving the county to the best of their abilities.

The board has also shown that it can weather unexpected changes to its membership. Howard Simpson, former Farmville 101 District supervisor and longtime board member, died in February 2018.

In that instance, 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 could be held for it in November.

Gene A. Southall was appointed to the seat in May. He chose to run in the November election and won, putting him in the position to represent the district until the term expires at the end of 2019.

The board has modeled consistency and stability and exercised wisdom, and we wish it a continued journey down this path that it has so admirably tread.