BERRYVILLE — Clarke County’s next chief executive has a background in both local government and higher education.
In a unanimous vote, the Clarke County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday hired Chris Boies to be the next county administrator.
Boies, 38, will succeed David Ash, who will retire effective Jan. 31 after nearly 29 years with the county. However, Boies will start working for the county on Dec. 2 so Ash can help him get acquainted with his new job.
He will be paid an annual salary of $142,000. In comparison, Ash currently earns $158,040 per year.
Boies currently is assistant vice president of business operations for facilities administration at George Mason University. He previously was vice president of finance and administrative services at Lord Fairfax Community College. Before that, he was Shenandoah County’s planning and zoning director and later New Market’s town manager.
In 2017, Boies earned a doctorate of education in administrative leadership from Shenandoah University. He previously earned a master’s degree in public administration and an undergraduate degree from James Madison University. He also graduated from Lord Fairfax.
The county administrator reports to the supervisors and oversees the day-to-day operations of county government. The position also is responsible for implementing policy, planning for the future and managing several departments with a total of 37 full-time and 17 part-time employees.
Supervisors Chairman David Weiss said the board privately interviewed five of the 36 people who applied for the job. He said that Boies “rose to the top” of the pile of applications because of his government experience in small, largely rural communities, his familiarity with the region and his administrative experiences at the college level.
“The board is very pleased and excited to have him” as the new county administrator, added Weiss, the Buckmarsh District supervisor.
Russell District Supervisor Barbara Byrd said, though, that “all of the candidates (interviewed) ... were extremely talented.”
Boies said he is both honored and humbled to be named the new administrator.
“Becoming a county administrator has been one of my dream jobs,” said Boies. He was impressed with Clarke County, he said, because of its beauty as well as the longevity of many of its employees and their “good reputation.”
“Clarke County is a special place, and I look forward to serving the residents of this great county,” he said in a statement released by the county. “Mr. Ash leaves some very big shoes to fill, but I am excited to work with the staff, constitutional officers, and other stakeholders to make Clarke County a great place to live, work, learn and recreate.”
His performance is to be reviewed six months after he starts and annually thereafter, the contract mentions.
Boies continues to live in Shenandoah County. He must move to Clarke County within three years, according to his contract, which is for the same number of years.
The contract enables the supervisors to fire Boies at any time. It also allows Boies to resign at any time, with at least 90 days written notice. During the notice period, the supervisors can let him go before the 90 days are up, but they must pay his regular salary for the remainder of the period.
Otherwise, if the board fires Boies without cause, and he has not yet found other full-time employment, it must pay his salary for up to three months. If he is terminated with cause, such as misconduct or not satisfactorily performing his duties, the board is not required to further compensate him, except for any unused vacation and/or COBRA benefits, the contact shows.
Boies will be only the third county administrator in Clarke’s history. Its first administrator, G. Robert Lee, worked for the county for 13 years before Ash was hired.