Highland County EDA Furthers Discussion of County Administrator Retirement at January Meeting


The hiring of an interim county administrator after the retirement of Roberta Lambert was a issue that transferred from the Highland County Board of Supervisors meeting into the January Highland County EDA meeting.


EDA Board Member Bryan Obaugh explained his concerns at the opening of the meeting:


“The lack of a county administrator, and the historical knowledge that Roberta had, can’t be overlooked. And I wanted to have a discussion concerning that, as far as the EDA is concerned, as a county agency, a department within the county, especially when it comes to relevance of economic development. I would like to see the EDA put forth a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors that they entertain the notion of seeking out an interim county administrator through the Virginia Association of Counties. Now, that generally would be standard procedure in such an instance.”


Highland County Board of Supervisors chair Henry Budzinski was present at the meeting and commented, saying that the Board of Supervisors would welcome input from the EDA, especially as the position does include economic development.


“I was just thinking about Bryan’s comments on the county administrator. If the EDA is willing to look into that from an EDO perspective or EDA perspective, and give your recommendations or thoughts from that aspect for the county administrator. That could be helpful.”


Obaugh agreed and thanked Budzinski and the Board of Supervisors for their willingness to listen to the EDA, then went further to say that the recommendations should include a succession plan as well, which he felt was not currently in place.


“It would be important to make sure that a proper succession plan is formulatied and outlined and put in place. That those wants and desires are outlined for the future.”


Budzinski said the succession plan was in place and cited the hiring of Jerri Botkin, saying that her stepping up to the plate, supported by staff at the courthouse, was a long term plan that was currently working well.


In the end, the EDA board voted to table this discussion until the next meeting.

Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

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