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County sees big leadership changes

Cumberland County experienced four changes in board and administrative positions this week after a series of sudden resignations, including an unexpected resignation on Oct. 3 from Cumberland County Board of Supervisors (BOS) Chairman and District Four Supervisor David Meinhard.

David Meinhard

Meinhard stepped down only weeks after the resignation of the then newly-appointed Cumberland County Administrator Donald Unmussig.

Meinhard was present in the audience at the board’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening and spoke as a member of the public during the public comments portion of the meeting, though his comments did not directly address his resignation.

In an interview with The Herald at the board meeting, Meinhard cited frustration in relation to the board as the primary reason for his resignation.

William “Bill” Osl

Near the end of Tuesday’s meeting, the board went into closed session. Upon return to open session, a motion was made to name BOS Vice Chairman and District Five Supervisor Parker Wheeler the new board chairman and District One Supervisor William F. Osl, Jr. as vice chairman. The motion passed unanimously.

Stephany Johnson

The board then agreed to recess until 6 p.m. on Wednesday. After the continuation of the closed session on Wednesday night, the remaining four board members passed a motion to make County Financial Director Jennifer Crews, the new interim county administrator, and County Deputy Clerk Stephany Johnson, the interim assistant administrator.

In an interview with The Herald, newly-appointed Chairman Wheeler explained that Crews and Johnson would both keep their initial roles and responsibilities while taking on their added roles and responsibilities.

Jennifer Crews

Wheeler also stated that he will be signing paychecks for the near future.

Meinhard was present at Tuesday’s meeting after having seen that the agenda included a resolution in appreciation of former Cumberland County Administrator and County Attorney Vivian Seay Giles, who resigned in July and now works primarily in Richmond for Sands Anderson PC law firm.

Meinhard used his time during the public comments portion of the meeting to commend Giles, emphasizing how important she had been to the county.

As District Four Supervisor, Meinhard was nearing the end of his second term and was not seeking re-election.

Parker Wheeler

Wheeler explained that the District Four seat will likely remain empty until after next month’s election. He added that the board elects its chairman and vice chairman in January during the first board meeting of the year.

Wheeler stated in an interview with The Herald Wednesday, “We as the board have worked hard to get the county moving forward, and we have it moving forward. Our goal is to keep it moving forward, to be progressive and get the county where it needs to go.”