Timmons to resign from board

Published 2:36 am Friday, January 11, 2019

C.R. “Bob” Timmons Jr. announced at the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors’ January organizational meeting Tuesday that he will be resigning as the Buffalo District supervisor effective Jan. 31.

Timmons is entering the second year of his second four-year term as a supervisor.

During the portion of the meeting set aside for supervisor comments, Timmons, who ordinarily speaks third, asked to go last this time.

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After everyone else had a chance to speak, he shared the following statement: “This is the first meeting of the board, year 2019, and the first meeting of my second year of my second term as the Buffalo District board member.

“Over the past five years, the board has been through many changes and has made multiple decisions regarding the governance of Prince Edward County. The board has adopted a conservative approach to the county’s spending by maintaining a low tax rate.

“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. The annual underrun of the county budget has been used to increase its fund balance. Additionally, the county’s debt service has decreased, and the county has recently taken advantage of refinancing and the remaining debt at a lower rate, thus reducing the annual payment. The fund balance now has sufficient funds to pay for much if not all of the upcoming projects at the STEPS building, the new county social services building and the revisions and upgrades to the courthouse. The county has also experienced a growth in new businesses, with the latest partner being the YakAttack manufacturing facility.

“This board has instituted many procedural changes to guarantee fair and equal treatment of every citizen in Prince Edward County and not just the privileged few. The board has moved from personal agendas that were prevalent in the past to a place where personal agendas have been set aside, and I urge the board to continue with this approach to governance.

“Each of us must be totally honest and continually ask ourselves why we vote the way we do and will this vote benefit the citizens of Prince Edward County.

“At this time, I am respectfully submitting my resignation to be effective January the 31st, 2019. I wish each of the board members the very best and that each of you seek God’s wisdom for every decision that you make. I also wish to thank the citizens of the Buffalo District of Prince Edward County for their trust, support and confidence by allowing me to serve them these past five years. My God bless the United States, the great state of Virginia and especially the citizens of Prince Edward County.

“And finally Mr. Chair, I move that this board continue to maintain control of its destiny by appointing my successor and authorizing the advertisement for my replacement. And that is a motion.”

The motion passed, and the board began to discuss matters related to determining Timmons’ successor. There were some details that were unclear, but it was determined that clear answers would be provided soon.

Assistant County Administrator Sarah Puckett said, “We can get a schedule out to the board of what the deadlines are and what needs to happen.”

In a Wednesday interview, Timmons offered more details pertaining to his decision to resign. He started by countering any notion that it was an expression of dissension with the board.

“First of all let me say that there is no issue with any board member or any item that is coming before or has come previously on the board — there is no issue,” he said. “So, relationships were good. I just felt it was time for me to step away and to start looking at other areas that I could serve in the community and for myself.”

He also has plans to end operation of Timmons Consulting Services, a business that he runs out of his home.

“Probably by the end of 2019, I will phase that business out and get back to my retirement,” he said.

Now 71 years old, Timmons originally retired when he was 62. However, later involvement in public service and other ventures ended up leaving him with minimal time to enjoy retirement with his wife, Linda Timmons.

“I was on a number of boards and a number of committees in addition to being on the board, and it just started sucking up so much time that for Linda and I to schedule a week’s vacation was almost impossible because of the number of meetings I had to attend,” he said.

He noted that the workload simply became overwhelming.

“We retired, and I wanted to do some things in our retirement that I just flat have not had time to even look at let alone to go through and do,” he said. “So I needed to step back to do that.”

Timmons had three more years remaining in his second term, but he explained why he chose to step away at this particular point.

“It’s a good time for a break now,” he said. “The board is solid, and financially we’re solid. I think it’s just a positive time to leave, with the county in really good shape. Continuing another year, that position is not going to change, so this is a good time to break.”

More than five years ago, Timmons’ involvement with the board of supervisors began when he saw the opportunity for a course correction.

“What caused me to run was the direction that the board was heading was spending money and looking toward building a water treatment plant with no customers, no potential customers within the county,” he said. “And that sort of caused me to get involved, and once I got involved with it, I thought that my leadership style and my leadership abilities could help work through those issues and change the direction of the board and change the focus of the board. And over the past five years, I think that I’ve been successful in doing that.”