New district 7 supervisor selected

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Brett Von Cannon Watson will become the county’s district 7 supervisor, receiving approval on an overwhelming 5-1 vote, to fill a vacancy.

Prince Edward Board of Supervisors took the action during a special meeting Friday, July 15 where they considered applicants for the vacant position left by the recent resignation of Jim Wilck.

Wilck submitted his letter of resignation at the conclusion of the June 14 meeting after serving on the board for 12 years. Wilck’s term of office runs through Dec. 31, 2025. In his letter, he recommended Watson as his replacement.

“He put a lot of effort into his role (as a board member),” said Watson.

A public notice was advertised and placed on the county’s website and its Facebook page asking for qualified applicants to complete and return a board of supervisors vacancy citizen application to the County Administrator’s Office by 4 p.m., July 8. Additionally, the county issued a press release.

Supervisors only received three applications for the seat. The other two are Bruce Davis and Peter Gur. Davis received one vote from district three’s Jerry Townsend at the recent meeting.

Newly elected Supervisor Watson graduated with a bachelor’s in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been on the planning commission for many years and he’s enjoyed his work there, he said.

Being a supervisor was not on Watson’s radar until his neighbor, Wilck, asked if he could nominate him, he said, adding though it felt great to receive a majority vote as a third generation board member. Watson’s grandfather was on the board as was his father, who served as its chairman for many years.

Watson believes a new supervisor needs to listen and learn and that the seventh district has a lot going for itself geographically.

“We want to make sure that we’re providing the types of goods and services that make this place a desired location and certainly not something that can be rejected because of a lack thereof,” said Watson. “I think we’re making some good progress.”

Supervisors must make an appointment by July 29 based on the 45-day rule for filling vacancies.

The applicant filling the seat will exercise all powers of the elected office until a special election to fill the vacancy is held Tuesday, Nov. 8. The winner of that race will then serve out the remainder of the term until Dec. 31, 2025, and is eligible to seek re-election.

The board still holds one vacant seat for district one.

Beverly Booth resigned from district one effective July 5 due to health reasons. Booth’s original term would have ended Dec. 23, 2023

A motion was made and approved to set into motion a process mirroring that used to fill the district seven seat.

The county attorney must now prepare and file a petition with the circuit court for a special election and prepare a Writ-of-Election to be approved by the judge and entered as an order of the court.

In the interim, the board may appoint someone to fill the vacancy. If a majority of board members do not agree or act, the judges of the circuit court can make the appointment.

Supervisors plan to hold this special meeting at 5:30 p.m., Aug, 4 to vote on the applicants. A special election will be held in conjunction with the general election on Nov. 8.

Applications are opened to qualified voters of district 1 to apply for the vacancy. A qualified voter is a person who is entitled to vote in accordance with the Constitution of Virginia, at least 18 years old on or before the day of the election, a resident of the Commonwealth and the precinct in which he/she votes and a registered voter.

Applications are available on the county’s website at www.co.prince-edward.va.us or can be found in the office of the county administrator.

Qualified applicants are asked to return the completed application to the County Administrator’s Office by 4 p.m., Friday, July 29. Applications are accepted by email to board@co.prince-edward. va.us, mail to Prince Edward County, P.O. Box 382, Farmville, VA 23901 or hand-delivered to the County Administrator’s Office located at 111 N. South Street, 3rd Floor, Farmville, VA.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

The board of supervisors will review the applications, conduct interviews and will then select a person to fill the vacancy, according to the information in the board’s meeting packet.

For additional information contact the Prince Edward County Administrator’s Office at (434) 392-8837