New County Administrator

Clarke County Circuit Court Clerk Helen Butts administers the oath of office to new Clarke County Administrator Chris Boies at the old courthouse in Berryville on Monday. Watching at back from left are Clarke County Supervisors David Weiss, Bev McKay, Terri Catlett and Mary Costello Daniel.

BERRYVILLE — Newly hired County Administrator Chris Boies started his job on Monday, marking the start of a new era in Clarke County government.

Boies, 38, succeeds David Ash, the county’s chief executive since February 1991. However, Ash will remain on the county’s payroll until his retirement on Jan. 31, helping Boies get used to the job.

“When you start something new, you’ve got to gain the knowledge you need ... to move things forward” before proceeding with work necessary to try and achieve progress, Boies said.

The Clarke County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in October to hire Boies.

Most recently, Boies worked in educational administration. He was assistant vice president of business operations for facilities administration at George Mason University and, previously, vice president of finance and administrative services at Lord Fairfax Community College.

Yet his background also includes stints in local government, first as Shenandoah County’s planning and zoning director and later as New Market’s town manager.

As the Clarke County administrator, Boies will earn an annual salary of $142,000.

Boies is a graduate of Lord Fairfax. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree and then a master’s degree in public administration from James Madison University. Two years ago, he earned a doctorate of education in administrative leadership from Shenandoah University.

The county administrator reports to the supervisors and oversees 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.

Boies said he spent most of Monday learning about the operations of county departments and meeting employees.

“Everyone’s been very welcoming,” he said.

On Monday afternoon, supervisors and other county officials gathered in the Clarke County General District courtroom on North Church Street to watch Circuit Court Clerk Helen Butts administer Boies his oath of office.

Since his hiring, Boies has been doing research about Clarke County and seeking to learn as much about the county as he can.

“The board is excited and pleased” to have him as county administrator, said supervisors Chairman David Weiss. “He continues to have good energy, and he is excited to be in Clarke County.”

Boies becoming part of the county is “his choice as well as our choice,” said Weiss, who represents the Buckmarsh District.

Also Monday, Butts administered Brianna Taylor her oath as the new executive assistant for county administration and deputy clerk to the supervisors. She succeeds Lora Walburn, who is retiring after 17 years.

“I’m excited about my new opportunity, and I look forward to it,” said Taylor, who previously was the county’s employee support coordinator.

The county administrator doubles as the supervisors’ clerk.

Weiss said the supervisors are “grateful to both” Ash and Walburn for their many years of service to the county.

— Contact Mickey Powell at mpowell@winchesterstar.com

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