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Hall succeeds Summerlin as county administrator, PSA manager
Tim Hall speaks at the funeral of Benny Summerlin. Hall has been selected to fill Summerlin's position of county administrator. (Bulletin photo)
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The Henry County Board of Supervisors on Monday named Tim Hall county administrator in a unanimous vote.
Hall, 52, who had been deputy county administrator, also was named the new general manager of the Henry County Public Service Authority (PSA).
He will earn $126,184.79 for the dual roles that became vacant when Benny Summerlin, 53, of Axton, died Wednesday.
“This is pretty humbling. Benny taught us to do our job and to do it well,” Hall said shortly after Debra Buchanan, of the Horsepasture District, made the motion to appoint him to the post.
H.G. Vaughn of the Ridgeway District seconded the motion, and the final vote followed an estimated 45-minute closed session meeting to fill the post.
Jim Adams, chairman of the supervisors, said the board had other options, including appointing an interim administrator.
But “the board has confidence in Tim and his ability,” Adams said, adding that Hall also has prepared himself for the post, both with hands-on learning and continuing education.
Adams said Hall has earned a master’s degree, and “the board really felt that he was just the obvious choice, because he had not only prepared himself but also had been prepared by Benny.”
Vaughn told Hall that he and the remainder of the board have “a lot of confidence in what you are capable of.”
In echoing similar comments by other supervisors, Buchanan said the move was “bittersweet.”
“I’m glad you got the job,” vice chairman Tommy Slaughter told Hall, pointing out that Hall is a University of Virginia fan, in stark comparison to Summerlin, who was a Virginia Tech fan.
“I know Benny loved Tech colors” of maroon and orange, Slaughter said, “but it’ll be good to see the U.Va. colors for a change.”
Iriswood District Supervisor Milton Kendall told Hall that the county and the supervisors were “lucky to have you step in for us” and fill the role.
“We have to keep going. We can’t replace Benny, but we can put a successor in to do an excellent job,” Collinsville Supervisor Joe Bryant said.
The PSA Board of Directors also met Monday and took similar action.
“We are fully confident that Tim is the person to lead the PSA,” said Gerry Lawicki, chairman of the PSA board. “We look forward to working beside him and with all PSA employees.”
“While I am proud and humbled to be offered these roles,” Hall said. “I accept them with a very heavy heart. Benny was my friend and mentor, and I will never replace him. However, I will try to help (the county and PSA move forward, and) I will do these jobs to the best of my ability.”
Hall was named deputy county administrator and also assistant general manager of the PSA in 2002, the same year Summerlin was appointed county administrator and general manager.
Adams said only the administrator and county attorney report directly to the supervisors and noted that those are the only positions the supervisors fill.
However, he said the vacant positions Hall previously held will first be posted internally to determine whether there are any interested and qualified applicants.
Hall will make that determination and fill the two vacant posts, Adams said.
Hall, who also served as the county’s public information officer, had served in a number of capacities in the Henry County school division, including teacher/coach and public information officer.
He became news director at WMVA Radio in 1990, after leaving his nearly 10-year job as a writer/reporter and columnist for the Lynchburg News & Advance.
Hall earned his MBA from Averett University in 2007; was a 1981 graduate of James Madison University and also a 1977 graduate of Martinsville High School.
Hall and his family live in Collinsville.