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Farmville Town Council appoints new town manager

The Farmville Town Council has appointed Dr. C. Scott Davis as the next town manager.

Davis replaces Gerry Spates, who held the position for 41 years before retiring last August. At that time the Town Council appointed Davis to serve as interim town manager.

After a closed session during a meeting Friday, Feb. 21, the council unanimously approved an employment agreement with Davis. The salary for the position is $120,000.

C. Scott Davis

“I am pleased that Scott has agreed to serve as the next town manager,” Farmville Mayor David Whitus said. “He has proven himself during his time as interim manager, and the Town Council is confident in his abilities and continued growth in the role.”

The position of Assistant Town Manager which Davis previously held will not be filled.

The Town Council conducted a national search for the new town manager, assisted by The Berkley Group, from Bridgewater. The Berkley Group received 36 applications and interviewed 12 candidates at a cost of $27,500.

“Council felt strongly that we had a duty to the town to conduct a thorough national search to be sure we selected the most qualified candidate,” Whitus said. “Working with the Berkley Group helped ensure that we had the best applicant pool possible. None of the current council members have been through this process, so we utilized the expertise of professionals.”

According to Whitus, The Berkley Group gathered community input on selection criteria, built a community profile, promoted the job nationally, performed interviews and assisted in the selection process.

The Berkley Group also aided the town in determining an appropriate, competitive salary and benefits package, which will result in significant savings for the town according to Whitus. “In fact, the first-year savings will more than pay the Berkley fee,” Whitus said.

“After they conducted their interviews, The Berkley Group representatives briefed (the) council and informed it that we had an outstanding candidate in Scott — someone who stood out in a strong pool of applicants,” Whitus said. “They advised that, based on what they had learned about the other candidates, they could support (the) council making a decision without taking further steps in the process. Based on Scott’s performance in the interim role, (the) council decided to offer him the position.”

The Berkley Group representatives, retired local government managers, will also provide onboarding services for the new manager and the council and will assist in establishing performance expectations and developing an annual evaluation process.

Davis was hired as assistant town manager in 2017. Prior to that he served as director of planning and community development in the City of Colonial Heights. He started his career in public service in 2000 as a police officer in Colonial Heights. Between 2007 and 2014 Davis served in various capacities, including chief of police and director of advancement and alumni relations at Richard Bland College of William and Mary in Petersburg. During that time, he was elected as a council member and then mayor of Colonial Heights.

Davis has a Master of Public Administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University. He and his family are residents of Farmville.

“My family and I are thrilled that I have been given the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Farmville,” Davis said. “We love this community and expect to be an active part of it for years to come. I am committed to my continuing development as a manager, to improvements in the town organization as we seek to better serve the citizens and to the advancement of the community as a whole.”

Davis assumed his new role as town manager immediately following his appointment.