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Prince Edward board to make offer for county administrator role

Prince Edward County’s Board of Supervisors emerged from the closed session in its reconvened meeting Tuesday, Oct. 6, poised to make an offer to an applicant for the county administrator position.

Jerry Townsend

“We’re going to make an offer to an individual,” Board Chairman Jerry Townsend said. “I can’t disclose this person’s name at this time, but until we get a signed agreement, contractual agreement, we won’t make an official announcement. But the board did decide who to offer the position to.”

Supervisors entered their planned discussion Tuesday with a narrowed-down field of five candidates, three from the second pool of applicants that formed after the search was extended in early August and two from the initial pool.

If the chosen candidate accepts the board’s offer, Townsend indicated it will probably be a month before the new administrator is in place.

Former County Administrator Wade Bartlett’s contract expired Sept. 30, but Assistant County Administrator Sarah Elam Puckett will be serving as acting county administrator until the new permanent admin is in place.

Townsend confirmed the board voted her in as acting county administrator, which was necessary for her to function in the position.

“She had to have certain powers as a county administrator,” he said.

By a 5-3 vote April 14, the board opted not to renew the contract for Bartlett, who had served as Prince Edward County’s administrator for nearly 13 years.

“This was not due to cause,” Townsend said of the decision in an April 15 statement. “The majority of the board believes that at this time, the county will benefit from a change in direction with new leadership.”