Some questions about who was vouching for Stanley answered

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A week after Doug Stanley was hired to be Prince Edward County’s new county administrator, the question of how an executive who spent much of the past two years embroiled in controversy was approved unanimously by our Board of Supervisors still remained.

There had to be a connection between Stanley and the board. Someone who served as an advocate and vouched for him along the way.

Enter Prince Edward Board of Supervisors member Jim Wilck.

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In an email sent to me Friday, Oct. 30, apparently to inform me I had “lost a lot of credibility” over the Doug Stanley column last week, Wilck provided a few pieces to the puzzle of how Stanley came to Prince Edward.

Wilck took full credit for the hire.

“He did not answer an ad but was recruited by me after I networked through sources who worked with county administrators across the state. After our inexperienced board on top personnel hiring interviewed him, I stated to the board that my resignation would be handed in next week if he was not hired, and meant every word of it,” Wilck wrote.

So Wilck went outside the county’s hiring process and recruited his own candidate for the position, then threatened to resign if he wasn’t hired. The other candidates for the job were at a disadvantage from the very beginning.

I’m surprised none of the other supervisors took him up on his offer to resign and chose someone else for the administrator position.

Apparently, Wilck doesn’t come into this process as just a regular supervisor looking to make a hire. It is what he does. In the email, Wilck said he had more than 35 years as an executive recruiter in Dallas. The email said he has worked for large banks and Fortune 500 firms. Wilck is definitely sold on Stanley.

“This guy is one of the top 5% county administrators in Virginia,” the email said while saying Stanley would change Prince Edward County for the better.

I hope so.

Hopefully Stanley fulfills Wilck’s trust in him and makes Prince Edward a more vibrant place quickly and leaves his professional problems at the county line. If not, this hiring decision will be second-guessed for decades.

ROGER WATSON is editor of The Farmville Herald. His email address is Roger.Watson@