Bryce Simmons was selected to serve as the director of the Patrick County Economic Development Authority and Geri Hazelwood was named acting county administrator in dual votes following a closed session discussion of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors on Monday.
The vote on Hazelwood was unanimous and effective immediately. She will fill-in for County Administrator Tom Rose, who was hospitalized. Hazelwood will be paid a stipend of $1,500 per month for the additional duties.
“I am appreciative and just want to continue to do the best I can for the county,” said Hazelwood, who has been employed by the county for 12 years and most recently was assistant county administrator.
“I am a hard worker. I approach everyday with the same mentality: Take care of business and serve the people. That’s what I’ve always done,” Hazelwood said, adding that she is “grateful for the people that are involved in this county, and for getting out there and trying to make a difference. That’s what it will take” to move the county forward.
The tally on Simmons was 4 to 1, with supervisors Rickie Fulcher, Jane Fulk, Crystal Harris and Karl Weiss supporting the selection, Hazelwood said. Lock Boyce voted against the motion.
“We had good candidates to apply for the economic development director position,” Hazelwood said, noting that when it came to a final decision, the board and the hiring committee settled on Simmons.
“As a born native of Patrick County, I am excited to return as the Economic Development Director. I believe my experience in project management, procurement and customer service as a public servant will be beneficial to the growth of Patrick County,” Simmons said. “My office will always be open to lend an ear and work towards a common goal.”
Employed by the City of Danville as Public Works Chief Engineer, Simmons officially begins his duties in Patrick on May 28.
In other matters, supervisors:
* Approved a special use permit which clears the way for a Verizon cell tower to be constructed on Ridge Road in Woolwine. The monopole will stand up to 199-feet tall, with 195-feet made of galvanized steel. The additional 4-feet will be a lightning rod. The monopole initially will be equipped with up to 12 panel antennas and associated components. Equipment will be installed inside a 70- by 70-foot fenced compound. The new facility will expand Verizon’s network of services.
* Approved a proclamation recognizing May as Ruritan Awareness Month in Patrick County. Ruritan clubs have more than 10,000 members in 382 clubs in Virginia, including four local clubs with 115 members.
* Set a public hearing on the proposed 2020 fiscal budget for May 28. It is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the third-floor meeting room of the Patrick County Veterans Memorial Building in Stuart. The proposed budget includes level funding for the school division. Rickie Fulcher, chairman, said the state is providing funds for raises of certain employees, including support personnel such as librarians, principals and others. The state funds will not provide pay hikes to other support personnel, including those in the transportation and food services areas, Fulcher said. He also noted the Budget Committee has worked to reduce the projected deficit from $3.3 million to $940,706. Additional cuts may be made, however Fulcher said he did not know where those cuts may be made.