By Matt de Simone
County Supervisors Dr. Richard Bailey (Fincastle) and Billy Martin (Blue Ridge) presided over their final meeting last Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors final meeting of 2023 at the County Administrative Offices in Daleville.
Buchanan Supervisor and Board Vice Chair Amy White marked the “bittersweet occasion” by taking a moment to acknowledge two individuals who helped “enhance wellbeing” in Botetourt County.
“These gentlemen have exhibited true leadership, particularly in navigating the challenges posed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” White said. “You’ve both been mentors to me and taught me so much. You are two fine examples of character and work ethic that should be duplicated in all aspects in our world.”
Amsterdam Supervisor Steve Clinton shared that “it was a pleasure” serving the county alongside Supervisors Bailey and Martin. He noted their innovative and energetic leadership in helping the county get through difficult times.
Bailey served on the board since 2018 assuming the roles of chair and vice chair during his tenure. He spent time working with the Economic Development Authority (EDA), Agricultural Projects Committee, General Fund Budget Subcommittee, and School Budget Committee. White highlighted Bailey’s effort to return COVID relief to local farmers, as she shared her appreciation and noted it was one of the only efforts of its kind White heard about during that period of time.
“I really appreciate the kind words today, but I think the accolades go with the people who serve on this board and who will continue to serve on this board,” Bailey said. “It has been a pleasure to work with you all. I think we’ve accomplished a lot and you will continue to accomplish a lot.”
Bailey continued by thanking county administrators and their staff “working everyday to keep Botetourt open and moving forward and it’s been pleasure to watch that process and how it works. It gave me a great deal of confidence in the future of Botetourt County.”
Martin served as a member of the board since 2008. He previously assumed the role of chair during his tenure and worked alongside the Department of Social Services, County Planning Commission, TAP Board of Directors, County Fire & EMS Committee, General Fund Budget Committee, School Budget Committee, Roanoke Regional Partnership, Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Transportation Planning, and Planning Organizational Policy Board.
“I’ve enjoyed every committee I’ve been on and I’ve learned from it,” Martin said when thanking the board for his recognition. Martin continued by sharing his appreciation for his work with county employees over the years and appreciated their support. “I’d like to thank everyone for all you’ve done for me. Have a good Christmas.”
Additionally, Fire and EMS Chief Jason Ferguson recognized Martin, who has been a part of the Botetourt County Fire & EMS Executive Board since Ferguson began service as chief of the department five years ago. As a “thank you” for the extra time spent serving the community, Ferguson gave Martin a plaque signifying Martin’s work on the board.
The board also handed out the annual Employee Service Awards. County Human Resources Director Mark Blackburn led the proceedings, recognizing 12 county employees who have served for upward of 20 years.
The following county employees received recognitions:
Five years of service
- Freddie Hostetter (Maintenance)
- Lindsey King (Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office)
- Seth Mowles (Fire and EMS)
- Kelly Nicely (Treasurer’s Office)
- Charles Simmons (Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office)
- Mahesh Tailor (Technology Services)
10 years of service
- Shelby Bryant (Sports Complex)
15 years of service
- Mary Blackburn (Human Resources)
- David Lalush (Maintenance)
- Doug Marsh (Maintenance)
- Sarah Pugh (Fire and EMS)
20 years of service
- Cathy King-Ripley (Fincastle Library)
Each employee received a check in the amount of $50, plus $25 for each five years of service, and a certificate of appreciation signed by County Administrator Gary Larrowe and Board Chair Mac Scothorn.
County Fire and EMS Chief Jason Ferguson introduced recent graduates from the Roanoke Regional Fire-EMS Academy: firefighter EMTs Devin Goins and Logan Price. Goins comes to Botetourt from Stewart, Va. joining the team last summer. Price is originally from Danville, is an officer in the Army Reserves, and previously spent time as a law enforcement officer holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Both graduates went through 22 weeks of training in the academy and are about to begin working in Botetourt.
Library Director Julie Phillips introduced Rebekah Burnette, Eagle Rock Library’s new full-time library assistant. Burnette joined the county libraries last year on a part-time basis, and moved into a full-time position this past August. She previously worked at the Alleghany Highlands Regional Library helping with children’s reading programs.