Patrick County Administrator Geri Hazelwood resigned from her post effective March 1.
Brandon Simmons, who represents the Dan River District on the Patrick County Board of Supervisors, said “she turned in her resignation” on Monday, March 6. “It was effective March 1. I haven’t seen the letter and don’t know its contents,” he added.
Clayton Kendrick, chairman of the board, said he received Hazelwood’s letter early Monday evening. In it, Hazelwood wrote that she plans to spend some time evaluating her career and exploring new opportunities, he added.
In her letter, Hazelwood wrote that she has “both professionally and personally” found her time with the county rewarding, Kendrick said.
Denise Stirewalt, of the Peters Creek District, said “I’m so saddened that Patrick County is losing a 15-year employee with a wealth of knowledge. Geri has been an excellent employee dedicated to the citizens of this county. I’m confident she will be very successful in her next position.”
Hazelwood began her employment with the county on May 29, 2007. She later served as assistant county administrator, and effective September 1, 2020, Hazelwood became county administrator.
The board took no action after meeting in closed session to discuss her performance at its February 27 meeting.
Clyde DeLoach, of the Blue Ridge District, and Doug Perry, of the Smith River District, also learned about Hazelwood’s resignation early Monday evening.
Perry said it was his understanding that the letter indicates Hazelwood is ready to work on her professional development and move forward to the next great thing, and “that’s great. She did the day-to-day functions here in the county,” he said.
The county will be working with the Berkely Group, which is associated with the Virginia Association of Counties (VACO), to help facilitate the process of hiring an interim administrator as well as assist with the hiring process.
With locations in Virginia and North Carolina, the firm “also will assist us with finding a new administrator and a new hire,” he said.
Neither Perry nor DeLoach anticipates a new county administrator will be hired from the county’s existing employee pool.
“We don’t know, but my feeling is that’s unlikely,” DeLoach said.
Meanwhile, “I think Donna Shough (Assistant County Administrator/Human Resources Director) will hold the fort down … until we can get that interim in,” Perry said, adding that Hazelwood will “be missed and we certainly wish the absolute best for her and the most success for her.”