David Williams elected new Powhatan board chairman

David Williams, left, was elected the Powhatan County Board of Supervisors' chairman for 2020. Karin Carmack was elected vice chairwoman.

POWHATAN – The newly-elected Powhatan County Board of Supervisors last week choose David Williams to serve as board chairman in 2020.

Williams, who represents District 1, was elected in a unanimous vote at the board’s organizational meeting on Monday, Jan. 6.

The board then voted in a 4-0-1 vote to elect Karin Carmack, District 5, as the vice chairwoman. Larry Nordvig, District 2, said he abstained from the vote because he had nominated Mike Byerly, District 3, for the vice chair position. Byerly immediately withdrew his name from consideration.

Williams, who has been on the board since 2012, has previously served as vice chairman but never chairman. He said it felt good to have the “confidence of the people on your team.”

The supervisors as a team have discussed some items they want to focus on during their first six months as a board, Williams said. He said one of the first tasks facing the board is to recruit and hire a new county administrator. The board unanimously decided to ask Ted Voorhees to resign earlier in the day on Jan. 6.

The board will also be working with interim county administrator Bret Schardein and finance director Charla Schubert to bring forward the fiscal year 2021 budget and a capital improvement plan (CIP), he pointed out. He added that the board will likely not be able to bring forward the 10-year CIP they want to have this year.

“We are going to focus on what we have to do in year one, knowing that we probably won’t get to the 10-year CIP until later, after we get this first budget and CIP done,” he said.

The board will immediately begin to work on a “vision and strategic plan for the county, from which your comprehensive plan, your zoning and subdivision ordinances flow, along with capital improvement plan, which implements your comprehensive plan,” Williams said. He anticipated that some aspects of the strategic plan will overlap with decisions made in the past but that there would be differences, “and from those differences you will see changes to other things.”

The board will also be working on a long-term water supply and continuing efforts on economic development, with particular focus on east of 288 on Huguenot Trail, Williams said.

Carmack, who served on the planning commission for almost 13 years, said it is “always a good feeling to be supported by your colleagues” regarding her election as vice chairwoman. She said that serving as chairwoman of the Powhatan County Planning Commission for 10 years helped prepare her well for the role.

Some of the big goals moving forward in the next six months will be finding a new county administrator, developing a strategic plan, taking a look at the county’s proffer policy, and revisiting the comprehensive plan, Carmack said.

In addition to choosing the board leadership at the Jan. 6 meeting, the board appointed four people to serve on the planning commission. Amy Kingery was approved again to represent District 2. New planning commissioners are Bobby Hall, District 3; Jane Pendergast, District 4, and Barbara Brown, District 5.

Carmack still held her position on the planning commission at the Jan. 7 meeting, but Williams will name her replacement for District 1 at an upcoming meeting.

The next meeting of the board of supervisors is at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27 in the Village Building.

Laura McFarland may be reached at Lmcfarland@powhatantoday.com.

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