Supervisors discuss county administrator search

jojacobs@vagazette.com

Supervisors discussed the first steps in hiring a county administrator with a consultant and provided marching orders for staff to further explore zoning amendments at their meeting Tuesday.

It cost the county $26,150 to hire a consultant to help find a replacement for former County Administrator Bryan Hill, who left James City for a similar role in Fairfax on Jan. 1. Bill Porter has acted as county’s interim administrator.

Supervisors and consultant Anne Lewis, of Springsted Waters, will create a profile of an ideal candidate and make a survey for residents to express their thoughts on what they would like in a county administrator.

“We’ll use that as a marketing tool to post advertisements,” Lewis said of the profile.

The survey could be structured around attributes the board has identified as important and ask respondents to rank those attributes, Lewis said. A video interview would also be part of the process.

“We have to see how they formulate their thoughts and put their ideas together,” Lewis said.

In January, supervisors discussed among themselves the qualities and experience they would like to see in the new county administrator. They agreed that they’d like to hire someone who can be a community leader and an inspiration to staff with at least five years of experience in local government.

The entire search and hiring process is expected to last several months. Applicant interviews are expected to take place in May, Lewis said.

In other news, supervisors stuck to planning commission policy committee recommendations on a number of potential zoning ordinances regarding items formerly addressed through proffers.

Supervisors expressed interest in incorporating the streetscape policy requirements into the zoning ordinance, which would require both by-right and special-use permit projects to provide street trees in major residential development projects.

The streetscape policy ensures a tree canopy exists in residential areas.

“It’ll give us more consistency,” Supervisor Michael Hipple said. “In the long run it’ll give us a better community and a nicer looking community.”

Staff will present an ordinance amendment for the Board of Supervisors to vote on at a future meeting, Planning Director Paul Holt said.

On pedestrian and bike accommodation, supervisors leaned toward amending the zoning ordinance to include requirements to adhere to bikeways plan in residential areas. Currently, such projects must only adhere to the pedestrian accommodation plan.

The bikeways plan encourages development of a regional bikeway system.

The planning commission is still hashing out the idea but will eventually have something to forward to the board in the future.

Staff suggested an adequate transportation facilities test be drafted and added to the traffic impact analysis policy. Supervisors expressed interest in further discussion of the proposal.

The test would offer staff guidance on how to handle situations in which off-site traffic impacts are able to be mitigated.

“This give you more information to think about,” County Attorney Adam Kinsman said.

After the planning commission tweaks the proposal, staff will bring the amendment to a future board work session for additional discussion, Holt said.

The Board of Supervisors also voted unanimously to voice opposition to off-shore drilling, following the request of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission for its member localities to oppose off-shore drilling. The commission voted to oppose off-shore drilling Feb. 15.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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